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Real Estate Terms

Acre:A measure of Land equivalent to 43,560 square feet

Agent: 2 meanings 1) as defined by the Real Estate Act, an agent is a person who has met specified licensing qualifications and who acts on behalf of another in a real estate transaction with the expectation of payment for services rendered. An agent, as defined by the act, may employ a salesman to do virtually everything referred to in the definition of agent 2) at common law an agent is any person who contracts to act for or on behalf of another, who in turn, is known as the principal. The common law principles of agency apply to both an agent and salesman, as defined by the Act, when they are acting on behalf of a vendor or purchaser.

Appraisal:an estimate of the value of a legal interest of land

Appreciation:the amount at which an asset (for example real property) has increased in value

Assessment:a local tax levied against a property for a specific purpose such as streetlights

Balance due on Completion:the amount of money the purchaser will be required to pay to the vendor to complete the purchase, after all adjustments have been made

Borrower Qualification:the process of determining the maximum amount that can be lent to a potential borrower, given his or her income and the lending value of the property to be purchased

Borrowing:incurring an obligation to repay a debt in order to invest or consume more than one currently owns

Breach of Contract:failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise, which forms all, or part of a contract

Broker:a person in the business of assisting in arranging funding or negotiating contracts for a client but who does not loan the money him or herself

Brokerage fee:a fee charged by a mortgage broker for arranging a loan

Buyers Market:when market conditions are in favor of buyers. For example when there are more sellers then buyers in the market, the buyers have more choice of properties and may be able to negotiate a lower price

Bylaws:A set of regulations/rules by which an organization conducts its business

Chalet:a fully detached house

Chattels:articles of personal property as opposed to real property

Closing:The meeting between the buyer, seller and lender or their agents where the property and funds change hands

Completion date:when the purchaser’s solicitor undertakes to the vendor that he will pay the balance owing to the vendor upon the transfer of title being accepted for registration

Condition:a fundamental term of a contract, a breach of which allows the injured party to terminate the contract and or sue for damages or specific performance

Condition precedent:legal term for a “subject to” clause. Calls for the occurrence of a particular event or the performance of some act before the contract shall be binding between the parties

Condominium:individual ownership of a dwelling unit and an individual interest in the common areas and the facilities which serve the multi-unit project

Contract:an agreement between two for more parties, which creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing

Contract of purchase and sale:A contract of purchase or sale of land, which contains the obligations of the vendor and purchaser with respect to the purchase and sale.

Conveyance:The process of transferring an interest in land from one person to another by way of a transfer document. Usually refers to the transfer of title to land but also includes dealings such as assignments, leases and mortgages

Counter-Offer:A statement by the recipient of the offer which has legal effect of rejecting the offer and of proposing a new offer to the offeror who then becomes the recipient of the new offer

Deposit:amount deposited with the agent by the purchaser when an offer to purchase is made

Depreciation:a decline in value over time as a result of wear and tear and changes in taste

Easement:a limited right of use of another’s land by a landowner for the benefit of his/her land. The land receiving the benefit is the dominant tenement and the land granting the benefit is the servient tenement

Encroachment:A fixture, like a fence, which illegally intrudes into or invades on public or private property, diminishing the size and value of the invaded property

Fee Simple:legal term for the maximum interest in land available to a person, or the maximum of legal ownership. Equivalent to absolute ownership

Fiscal Year:Any period of twelve consecutive months chosen by a business as its accounting period

Fixture:A chattel attached to real property; anything, which has become so attached to the land as to form part of the land

Latent defect:a hidden or concealed defect that would not be discovered during the course of a reasonable inspection

Legal Description:legal identification of real estate by one of the following: PID, Strata lot number, Land district, Plan number.

Lien:a claim on a piece of property for payment of some debt or obligation

Listing Agreement:a contract between an owner and a real estate licensee whereby the licensee agrees to try to find a purchaser for the listed property in return for the vendor paying a stipulated amount of commission should the licensee be successful

Listing Price:the price at which the property is advertised for sale

Phase 1:in Whistler this term refers to unrestricted owner usage of a particular property

Phase 2:in Whistler this term refers to restricted owner usage of a particular property to 28 days in the summer and 28 days in the winter. These properties are usually hotel type properties

Possession date:Date on which the purchaser is entitled to possession of the property

Property Disclosure Statement:a form filled out by the Seller that would accompany the listing agreement when the property is listed for sale. This form is a declaration from the Seller to the prospective Buyer that answers general questions relating to the subject property.The disclosure statement is designed in part to protect the Seller by establishing that all relevant information concerning the property has been provided to the Buyer.

Realtor:a real estate broker or an associate having active membership in a local authority, therefore making it part of the public records.

Salesperson:Defined in Section 1 of the Real Estate Act. A person employed by a real estate agent to carry out the functions of the real estate agent

Time clause:a clause contained in a contract for purchase or resale of land, which allows a party to invoke a time period in which a condition precedent must be removed. Failure to remove this condition present within the time period specified would result in termination of the contract

Title:a document that gives evidence of an individual’s ownership of property

Zoning:To specify the use of a property i.e. residential, commercial, agricultural. Zoning is normally enforced by the city