Abstract of Title: A condensed version of the history of title to a piece of land that lists any transfers in ownership, as well as any liabilities attached to it, such as mortgages.
Acceptance: An acceptance is a promise by the offeree to be bound by the exact terms proposed by the offeror. The acceptance must be communicated to the offeror.
Acknowledgment: A declaration made by a person to a notary public, or other public official authorized to take acknowledgments, that the instrument was executed by him and that it was his free and voluntary act.
Acre: A measure of land equal to 43,560 square feet.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM): A mortgage with rates and terms that can change. The adjustable rate loan has become commonplace, with allowable ranges as to time intervals, percentage of increase or decrease and total increases or decreases likely to change as market conditions change.
Adjustments: Money that the buyer and sellers credit each other at the time of closing. Often includes taxes and down payment.
Agency: A relationship created when one person, the principal, delegates to another, the agent, the right to act on his or her behalf in business transactions and to exercise some degree of discretion while so acting. An agency gives rise to a fiduciary relationship and imposes on the agent, as the fiduciary of the principal, certain duties, obligations, and high standards of good faith and loyalty.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): An expression of the relationship of the total finance charge to the total amount to be financed as required under the federal Truth-in-Lending Act. Tables available from any Federal Reserve bank may be used to compute the rate, which must be calculated to the nearest one-eighth of 1 percent. Use of the APR permits a standard expression of credit costs, which facilitates easy comparison of lenders.
Appraisal: An estimate of the monetary value of a property on the open market; an estimate of a property’s type and condition, its utility for a given purpose or its highest and best use.
As-Is: Words in a contract intended to signify that no guarantees, whatsoever, are given regarding the subject and that it is being purchased exactly as it is found.
Asking (List) Price: The price placed on a property for sale.
Assessment: The imposition of a tax, charge or lien, usually according to established rates.
Assignment: A transfer of property rights from one person to another, called the assignee.
Assessor: Municipal or county official who determines the value of property for taxation.