Recorder Glossary of Real Estate Terms

  • Affidavit - A written statement or declaration, sworn to before an officer who has authority to administer an oath.
  • Conveyance - Transfer of title to land. Includes most instruments by which an interest in real estate is created, mortgaged or assigned.
  • Deed - A written instrument that, when executed and delivered, conveys title to or an interest in real estate.
  • Deed in Trust - An instrument that grants a trustee full powers to sell, mortgage, and subdivided a parcel of real estate. The beneficiary controls the trustee's use of these powers under the provisions of the Trust Agreement. An instrument used to convey property to a trustee.
  • Grant - To transfer an interest in real property; either the fee or a lesser interest, such as an easement.
  • Grantee - A person who receives a conveyance of real property from the grantor.
  • Grantor - The person transferring title to or an interest in real property to a grantee.
  • Joint Tenancy - Ownership of real estate between two or more parties who have been named in one conveyance as joint tenants. Upon the death of a joint tenant, his or her interest passes to the surviving joint tenant or tenants by the right of survivorship.
  • Judgment - The formal decision of a court upon the respective rights and claims of the parties to an action or suit. After a judgment has been entered and recorded with the County Recorder, it usually becomes a general lien on the property of the defendant.
  • Lien - An encumbrance against property for money, either voluntary or involuntary. All liens are encumbrances, but all encumbrances are not liens.
  • Lis Pendens - A recorded legal document giving constructive notice that an action affecting a particular property has been filed in either a state or federal court.
  • Mechanic's Lien - A statutory lien created in favor of contractors, laborers, and materialmen who have performed work or furnished materials in the erection or repair of a building.
  • Mortgage - A conditional transfer or pledge of real estate as security for the payment of a debt. Also, the document creating a mortgage lien.
  • Mortgagee - A lender in a mortgage loan transaction
  • Mortgagor - A borrower who conveys his or her property as security for a loan.
  • Personal Property - Items, called chattels that do not fit into the definition of real property; moveable objects.
  • Plat Act Affidavit - A written statement or declaration, in compliance with the Plat Act, sworn to before an officer who has authority to administer an oath.
  • Quitclaim Deed - A conveyance by which the grantor transfers whatever interest he or she has in the real estate, without warranties or obligations.
  • Tenancy by the Entirety - The joint ownership, recognized in some states, of property acquired by husband and wife during marriage. Upon the death of one spouse, the survivor becomes the owner of the property.
  • Tenancy in Common - A form of co-ownership by which each owner holds an undivided interest in real property as if he or she were sole owners. Each individual owner has the right to partition. Unlike joint tenants, tenants in common have right of inheritance.
  • Title-
    1. The right to or ownership of land
    2. The evidence of ownership of land
  • Trust - A fiduciary arrangement whereby property is conveyed to a person or institution, called a trustee, to be held and administered on behalf of another person, called a beneficiary. The one who conveys the trust is called the trustor.
  • Trust Deed - An instrument used to create a mortgage lien by which the mortgagor conveys his or her title to a trustee, who holds it as security for the benefit of the note holder (the lender); also called a Deed of Trust.
  • Trustee - See Trust
  • Trustee's Deed - A deed executed by a trustee conveying land held in a trust.
  • Uniform Commercial Code - A codification of commercial law, adopted in most states, that attempts to make uniform all laws relating to commercial transactions, including chattel mortgages and bulk transfers. Security interest in chattels are created by an instrument known as a security agreement. To give notice of the security interest, a financing statement must be recorded. Article 9 of the Code Regulates bulk transfers - the sale of a business as a whole, including all fixtures, chattels and merchandise.
  • Warranty Deed - A deed in which the grantor fully warrants good clear title to the premises. Used in most real estate deed transfers, a warranty deed offers the greatest protection of any deed.