Real Estate Glossary

It’s important to understand the buzzwords that pertain to every Real Estate transaction. I’ve put together a short list of the ones we are likely to be using in reference to your property.

Please call Lisa Cannon at (210) 884-9515 or click here to email so we can get the process started!


Glossary of Real Estate Terms



A gradual paying off of a debt through periodic installments. Most mortgages require the payment of at least some principal amortization with interest so that the loan is eventually retired.



A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes for sale in San Antonio.



Formal transfer of ownership from seller to buyer. The sales contract will set a date for the closing. At that time, if the date is not changed, a meeting of buyer and seller, plus San Antonio Real Estate Agent, attorneys, lenders and other interested persons, is held. At the meeting, all fees and commissions are paid, the loan is advanced, legal documents are signed, and all transaction expenses, including the buyer’s down payment, are paid out of funds supplied by the buyer and seller. After closing and funding, the buyer is the owner of the property.


Closing Costs

In a real estate transaction, closing costs are amounts charged to transfer ownership. Generally these include brokerage commissions, discount points and other loan fees, appraisal and credit check fees, attorney fees, title expenses, recording fees, as well as other negotiated fees.


Comparable Sales

Recent sale prices of similar homes for sale in San Antonio. This is used to help determine the market value of a property. Also referred to as “comps.”


Credit Rating

An evaluation of the credit worthiness of an individual based on their credit history. Mortgage loan approval may be difficult to obtain without a favorable credit rating or with no credit rating. Someone who has never borrowed money may have as much difficulty obtaining credit as a person who has a poor credit history.


Down Payment

Cash payment needed to make up the difference between the amount borrowed and the price of a property. The borrower most likely will have to contribute cash, partly to pay for transaction costs and partly to make the down payment.


Earnest Money

A deposit made by a purchaser of real estate to evidence good faith. Earnest money should accompany an offer to buy property. Generally, a broker, attorney, or title company deposits the money in a separate account beyond the control of the principals until the contract is completed.



The right, privilege, or interest that one party has in the land of another, such as the right of public utility companies to lay their lines across another’s property. Easements allow utility service without requiring the public utility to buy the land. However, a potential real estate purchaser should determine exact locations of all easements to be sure they will not interfere with planned land uses. Ask your San Antonio Real Estate Agent for assistance with easements.



An agreement between two or more parties providing that certain instruments or property be placed with a third party for safekeeping, pending the fulfillment or performance of some act or condition. It is prudent to place money or property in escrow, rather than giving it to the other principal in a pending transaction.


Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.



A legal procedure whereby property pledged as security for a debt is sold to pay the defaulted debt. Foreclosure gives a lender the right to sell property that was pledged for a debt.


Homeowners’ Association Fee

A charge required of all homeowners within the association’s jurisdiction. The fee pays to maintain common areas and support the efforts of the association. In a subdivision, the association may maintain common recreational facilities, or the association may serve merely to enforce deed restrictions. Each homeowner who buys in the subdivision agrees to abide by the strictures and to pay fees to the association when accepting the deed to the property.


Market value

The highest price a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest price a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.



Evidence that the owner of property is in lawful possession thereof; evidence of ownership. Often clarified or qualified by an adjective such as absolute, good, clear, marketable, defective or legal.


Please call Lisa Cannon at (210) 884-9515 or click here to email so we can get the process started!