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Real Estate Glossary of Terms

Agreement of Purchasde and Sale: 

A written document in which the purchaser agrees to buy and the seller agrees to sell under stated terms and conditions.  This is the offer-to-purchase document that makes up the core of a real estate transaction.  It itemizes the property being sold, when it is to be sold, at what price, and the terms and conditions to the sale and purchase of the property.

Closing Date:

The date that is fixed for taking possession of a property (funds and title change hands).


These are the circumstances or requirements that must be met for a purchase/sale to take place (e.g. financing, building/home inspection, etc).

Conditional Sale:

A sale in which a buyer or seller is not bound by the agreement until all conditions are met.

Home Inspection:

A technical inspection of a property by a certified home inspector to assess the state of the property and the building structure, and advise you of existing or anticipated problems with the property that may affect your purchase decision.

Status Certificate: 

A legal document provided by a condominium corporation that attests to the physical and financial status of the corporation and a particular unit within the condominium.


The lender of money is the morgagee.


The borrower of money is the mortgagor

Bridge Financing:

A temporary loan to facilitate the purchase of a new home before the sale of another home.  Literally, it "bridges" the financial gap between purchase and sale.  For example, if you'd like to take possession of your new home a few days before the closing date of your old home for whatever reason, you'll need bridge financing.

Second Mortgage:

A supplementary mortgage. Second mortgages are sometimes used to make up for a shortfall between the total mortgage requirements and what the first mortgage will cover.  They are usually of a shorter term and a higher interest rate than first mortgages.

Appraised Value/Appraisal:

A professional estimate of the value of a home or property.  The appraisal is performed by a certified appraiser on behalf of a lender (such as a bank) to ensure that the value of the property matches or exceeds to funds being loaned.

Building Location Survey:

A Professional plan that plots the location of a house and structure on a lot.


A legal document that identifies a property and the owner of that porperty.

Title Search/Search of Title:

A process whereby your lawyer searches all archived titles to your property in order to ascertain whether the property's title is free and clear and can be sold to you as stated.

Title Insurance:

A no-fault insurance policy that protects you against any current or future claims to the title of your property.  Title insurance, along with your lawyer's Search of Title, is designed to protect you from risks such as someone else making a claim to title of your property.


A signed legal document bearing witness to a legal transaction, such as the purchase or sale of a property.

Power of Attorney:

A legal document that allows you to designate your lawyer or a third party to sign and authorize documents on your behalf should you be unavailable.  This may be useful during the period leading up to and including closing day, as well as in the long-term to ensure that your affairs can be taken care of by a person you trust in the case of your leaving the country or becoming disabled.