South Carolina Real Estate Glossary


Acceptance- willingness to be bound by the terms of an offer.

Accrued Interest- Interest accrued on a loan between the last payment and the closing date.

Adjustable rate mortgage(ARM)-A loan whose interest rate changes periodically.

Agency-A legal relationship of trust between buyers and sellers and their real estate agents.

Agent- In real estate one employed and licensed to conduct real estate transactions.

Appraisal-  a written opinion or estimate of the value of a property as of a specific date.

Appreciation-The increase in the value or worth of property due to economic or related causes which may be either temporary or permanent.

Assessed valuation-The value placed upon real or personal property for taxation purposes by the appropriate governmental authority.


Balloon Mortgage-A mortgage whose amortization schedule will not extinguish the debt by the end of the mortgage term, leaving a balloon payment of the remaining balance to be made at that time.

Blockbusting-An illegal, discriminatory practice whereby an agent induces a property owner to list his property by illegally representing that the neighborhood may change as a result of race, color, sex, religion or ancestry of the occupants, thus resulting in the lowering of property values.

Broker-Any person who, for valuable consideration, is engaged in activities relating to the transfer, rental, or maintenance of real estate.

Broker-in-charge-The broker who is designated as having the responsibility over the actions of all brokers, salesman, and property mangers licensed under him.

Buyer’s Broker- A real estate broker retained as agent by a buyer to represent the buyer in an agency relationship while purchasing a property.

Buyer’s market-One in which the supply of homes exceeds the demand for homes.


Capital gains-Gains from the sale of capital assets in excess of appraisal values or costs of assets.

Closed Mortgage-one which cannot be pre-paid prior to maturity.

Closing Costs-Expenses of a sale which are not related to the purchase price.  Some are incurred by the seller and some by the buyer.

Commercial Property-A type of income property, as distinguished form industrial or agricultural properties, which is normally zoned for business purposes.

Commission-The compensation received by a real estate agent for services rendered in connection with the sale or exchange of real property, usually figured as a percentage of the total price.

Comparables-Properties similar to a subject property being appraised, which have been sold recently.

Condominium-A multi-unit complex which is divided into single units which are purchase by the occupants, rather than leased.

Construction Mortgage Loan-A loan for the construction of a building which calls for installment advances upon completion of specific portions of the construction.

Contingency-That which is dependent on something that may or m ay not occur, a doubtful or uncertain future event.

Customer- means a person with whom a licensee has not established an agency relationship.


Deed-A formal document which conveys title to real property.

Deed Stamps-Documentary stamps to be affixed to the deed of conveyance, usually by the seller, at the time of settlement.

Developer-One involved in subdividing land and/or construction improvements upon the land.

Dual Agency-An agency relationship whereby the agent represents more thatn one party as a fiduciary in a transaction. 

Duplex-A two-famil dwelling with the units either side-by-side or one aboe the other.


Earnest Money Deposit-Advance cash payment by the purchaser of real property as evidence of good faith to complete the transaction.  Earnest money is not an essential element of the purchase and sales agreement.

Easement-A right or privilege to use the real property of another for a specific purpose.  An easement is an encumbrance against the property.

Employing Broker-The broker/principal (real estate firm) who is responsible for the supervision of those he employs as his subagents.

Environment Protection Agnecy (EPA)-A federal agency created in 1970 which is involved with en environmental problems of solid waste management, water and air pollution, noise, radiation, and pesticides.

Equity-An owners interest in propery after payment of all liens ofr other charges against the property.

Escrow-The conditional delivery of money and/or documents to a third party to be held until the happening of some event or the performance of a certain act.

Exclusive Right to Sell-The employment, by a property owner, of a real estate broker, with the exclusive right to sell the owner’s property.


Fair Credit Reporting Act- A federal statute, enacted in 1970, to require lenders to disclose to borrowers the nature of credit information used in determining whether or not to grant a loan.

Fair Housing Laws-Federal laws which prohibit discrimination in housing.

FHA- Federal Housing Administration.

Financing-The total amount required for the purchase of property, exclusive of the down payment.

Fixture-An item of personal property which, through its attachment to , or association with, real estate, loses its identity as personal property and becomes real property.

Foreclosure-A legal procedure whereby secured property is sold to satisfy a debt in the event of default.  The procedure terminates the mortgagor’s equitable right of redemption.


General Contractor-An expert in construction who contracts with a landowner or master lessee to engage in the construction of a building or project.

General Warranty-A covenant in a deed whereby the grantor agrees to protect the grantee against any claimant.

Grant-The transfer by deed of title to real property or real estate.

Grantor-One who conveys his real property(real estate) to a another by deed.


Heir-One entitled to real property (real estate) left by one who dies intestate.

Homestead Exemption-a right given by statute to a householder or head of a family to designate real property as his homestead, can be exempt up to a stated amount  from execution by his creditors.

Housing-Dwellings such as single-family homess, duplexes, small and large apartment buildings, residential cooperatives and condominiums (condos), townhomes, and vacant land on which such dwellings are to be constructed.

HUD-Department of Housing and Urban Development involved in programs relating to urban renewal, public housing, rehabilitation loans, FHA subsidy programs, and water and sewer grants.


Implied Agency-In South Carolina Real Estate, implied agency is created by the principal and the real estate agent, as evidenced by the acts and conduct.

Improved Land- Land which has been altered by the addtionon  of on- and off site improvements, such as buildings and roads.

Income property-A broad classification of property which produces income directly (eg rntal property) or as a factor in the production on income 9eg commercial property used in one’s trade or business).

Interest-money paid for the use of money; rent for the use of money; the return on an investment.

Interest (in real estate) An interest in real property envilves one’s reights, powers, privileges and/or immunities.  Also referred to as one’s possession, use, control and disposition of real property.

Investment-An employment of capital in expectation of a return in the form of income or gain.


Joint Liability- the liability of two or more parties for the same obligation.

Junior Financing- A mortgage which is subordinate in right or lean priority to an existing mortgage on the same property.


Kick back-A percentage payment to a person able to influence or control a source of income, as by confidential arrangement.


Land-The surface of the earth extending down to the center and upward to the sky, including all natural things below the surface, on the surface, and the arir right above the surface

Land description-in Greenville South Carolina Real Estate terminology a land description is the description of a specific piece of real property or real estate.

Land development-Preparing raw land, usually including grading and the installation of utilities, prior to the erection of improvements.

Land development loan-A loan granted for the purpose of developing new land.

Land planning-A process which influences the form and nature of new subdivisions to benefit the life of a community.

License-A personal and no assignable right to do something on the land or real estate of another.

Listing Broker- the real estate agent who is hired by the seller to represent him/her in a principal/agent relationship for the sale of a home or property.

Listing Contract-An employment agreement between a property owner and a real estate broker authorizing the broker toa act as the owner’s agent in selling or leasin a specific property.

Loan value-the appraised value of a property, uised as the basis for a loan.

Lot-A  parcel of land reflected on a survey or a map.


Master Deed-The principal document of conveyance of land on which condominiums are built.

Master Planned Community-A community that can be distinguished by its amenities, conveniences, and overall  development planning.  Usually a comprehensive long range development plan is used for Master Planned Communities.  

Megalopolis-A particular geographic area or location usually containing a series of cities.

Metes and Bounds-The description of the boundaries of real property, using termination points and angular directions.

Model Home- usually a new home built, sometimes referred to as a spec home, to demonstrate features, styles, colors, construction, etc.  

Mortgage-a pledge of property as security for payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation.

Mortgage Banker-An individual or firm which provides tis own funds for mortgage financing.

Mortgage Broker- One who for a fee finds a mortgage lender for a borrower, or a borrower for a mortgage lender.

Mortgage Deed- A document pledging real property as security for a loan.

Mortgage Insurance-Insurance paid for by the borrowere to protect the lender against loss should the borrower default on the loan.

Multiple Listing Service-(MLS) An agreement between broker members of a multiple listing organization to distribute their land and home listings to each other with the understanding that if a sale is concluded, the broker furnishing the buyer will share, as agreed, in the  commission.


National Association of Home Builders- A trade association for apartment, condo, home, and light commercial home builders.

National Association of Realtors-the leading trade association representing realtors and realtor interests with accompanying state and local boards.

Non-recurring closing costs
Closing expenses that are one-time only fees for such items as an appraisal, loan origination, credit report, title insurance, or home warranty.

A written document that requires a borrower to repay a mortgage at a certain interest rate over a specified period of time.


Offer- Term used to describe a stated price and willingness to act.

Open Mortgage-mortgage rate that can be paid any time without penalty.

Originator-one who underwrites loans, the term is used to describe underwriters of both commercial and residential loans.

Origination fee- charge by a lender associated with the cost to setup mortgage.


Parcel- an officially described piece of land.

Personal Property-any property that is not real property.

Percolation test- A test used to determine soils ability to absorb water; used to test soil for its ability to accommodate a septic system.

Personal property- Any non fixed property in a house that is not part of the real property(ie furniture, appliances, pictures)


Power of attorney- A document authorizing one individual to act on behalf of another individual or entity.

Prepaid expenses The costs for taxes, insurance and assessments paid before the due date.

Property tax –A taxes imposed on real property based on its assessed  value.

Pre-sold home-Homes that are sold before they are built or completed.

Purchase-money mortgage A mortgage obtained by a  borrower to acquire a real estate or property.

Qualifying ratios- computations by lenders or mortgage brokers to determine how much a potential buyer can borrow.               

Qualified Real Estate Agent- a new federal classification that exempts those who meet its requirements from being treated as employees for tax purposes.

Quit-claim deed- A document that releases a party from any interest in a piece of real estate.

Ranch- a large farm usually on which livestock is raised.     

Raw Land- land or property that has been undeveloped.

Real estate Land and anything permanently affixed to it, including buildings, fences and other items attached to the structure as well as easements and right of ways.

Real estate agent A real estate agent has a state license who represents a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for a commission. Most agents work for real estate brokers and the actual agency relationship is between the broker and the buyer or seller.

Real Estate Board-A local state division of the NAR (National Association of Realtors).

Realtor-A real estate broker holding active membership in a real estate board affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.

Redemption- The buying back of one's property after it has been lost through foreclosure.   Payment of delinquent taxes after sale to the State.

Restriction- when pertaining to real estate or real property the term means that the owner of real property is restricted or prohibited from doing certain things relating to the property or pertaining to the use of the property.

Right of Way- A privilege or right to pass over land granted or given by the owner of the land.

Rural- a term used to describe country land. 


Semi-custom home a home where the purchaser has the options to make some changes but usually not the homes overall structure.

Settlement statement A document that details the expenses of both the buyers and the sellers, also called the HUD statement at closing.

Slab foundation A pored concrete foundation built directly on the ground/soil with no crawl space.

Soffit- the area under the overhang of a roof.

Starter Homes-Homes priced in the typical range of first time buyers.

Subdivision A large parcel of land that has been subdivided into smaller parcels for residences.

Tax shelter In real estate a term, pertaining to various tax advantages

Tenants in common occurs when two or more owners share an interest in real property.

Top producer A real state industry term that refers to agents and brokers who sell a high volume of homes

Townhouse A type of attached home or housing unit with two levels.

Tract home A type home that is usually mass produced.

Triplex-A three dwelling unit.  

Treasury bills Treasury Department issued securities that are backed by the U.S. government.

Truth and Lending-A federal law that designed to protects consumers needing credit

Underwriting is the term used when lenders process a mortgage, evaluating risk and setting conditions for the loan.

U.S. Department. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the government agency overseeing the Federal Housing Administration.

Urban Sprawl-growth, expansion, and development of land with little planning.

Variable Interest Rate-an interest rate on a loan that moves with the interest rate of Treasury bill or bank certificates of deposit.

Variable rate mortgage- a loan with a variable interest rate that moves.

Vaulted Ceiling- a ceiling style were the elevation increases into an arched peek.

VA Loan- a loan that is backed in part by the Veteran’s administration.


Warranty-a guarantee issued that legally binds one party to do perform a certain act.

Wetlands-real property that is wet or saturated by water on a regular basis (ie swamp, marsh, etc

Playa Del Carmen mexico real estate at playabestbuy Playa del Carmen Real Estate Homes Playa del Carmen Condos Beach Apartments Rentals Vacation Rentals for sale in Playa del Carmen Playacar Puerto Morelos Puerto Aventuras Tulum Riviera Maya Mayan Riviera Mexico.

Playa Del Carmen cancun real estate at cancunbestbuy Cancun, Playa's Premier Real State, Management, and Relocation Service. Cancun Best Buy by Realty Executives Cancun.

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Real Estate at mexicobestbuy For Beachfront Real Estate, mexico real estate for sale , vacation homes in Puerto Vallarta real estate, Condos in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta & Mexico, contact Realty Executives Mexico for best deals. Phone # 1-800-471-0608.

Small Business Loans SC Information on Small Business Loans in the state of South Carolina and across the United States.