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Real Estate Terms Glossary
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Real Estate Terms Beggining with the Letter e
Earnest Money
 
Down payment made by the purchaser of real estate as evidence of good faith. A deposit or partial payment.
   
Easement
 
A right privilege or interest limited to a specific purpose which one party has in the land of another.
   
Easement Appurtenant
 
An easement created for the benefit of a particular parcel of property. There is both a dominant and a servient estate. The easement is annexed to and part of the dominant property.
   
Easement In Gross
 
An easement that benefits a particular individual not a parcel of property. Involves only a servient estate. A public utility easement is an example.
   
Eaves
 
The lower projecting edge of a roof over the wall.
   
Economic Life
 
The remaining useful life of an improvement or structure; that period during which an improvement will yield a return on the investment.
   
Economic Obsolescence
 
The loss in value to property due to external causes such as zoning or a deteriorating neighborhood. It is also referred to as social obsolescence.
   
Effective Gross Income
 
The amount of net income that remains after the deduction from gross income of vacancy and credit losses.
   
Egress
 
Exit; the act or avenue or leaving property.
   
Emblements
 
Things that grow on the land require annual planting and cultivation.
   
Eminent Domain
 
The right of the government and certain others such as public utilities to acquire property for public or quasi-public use by condemnation upon payment of just compensation to the owner. The constitutional or inherent right of a government to take private property for public good upon the payment of just compensation.
   
Encroachment
 
The projection of a structure onto the land of an adjoining owner. A structure or natural object that unlawfully extends into another's property.
   
Encumbrance
 
Any claim interest or right in property possessed by another that may diminish the true owner's rights or value in the estate. Examples include mortgages easements or restrictions of any kind. A claim lien or charge on property.
   
Endorsement
 
(1) The act of signing one's name on the back of a check or a note, with or without further qualification. (2) The signature described above.
   
Equal Protection
 
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution require each citizen to receive equal protection of the laws. There are no minimum standards of protection; all equally situated individuals must simply be treated equally. (The due process clause of the Constitution imposes certain minimum standards of protection.)
   
Equity
 
The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the liens against it.
   
Equity Build-Up
 
The increase of the owner's equity due to mortgage principal reduction and value appreciation.
   
Equity Of Redemption
 
The right to redeem property during the foreclosure period.
   
Erosion
 
The wearing away of the surface of the land by the action of wind water and glaciers for example.
   
Escalator Clause
 
A clause in a contract that provides for the upward or downward adjustment of certain items to cover the specific contingencies set forth. A clause in a promissory note lease or other document that provides that upon the passage of a specified time or the happening of a stated event the interest rate shall increase.
   
Escheat
 
The reversion of property to the state when there are no devisees or heirs capable of inheritance. Reversion of property to the state upon the death of an owner who has no heirs able to inherit.
   
Escrow
 
The deposit of instruments and/or funds with instructions with a third neutral party to carry out the provisions of an agreement or contract.
   
Escrow Agent
 
The neutral third party holding funds or something of value in trust for another or others.
   
Estate
 
The degree quantity nature and extent of the interest that a person has in real property. (1) Ownership interest in real estate. (2) The quality and quantity of rights in property.
   
Estate At Will
 
The occupation of real property by a tenant for an indefinite period. It may be terminated at will by one or both parties. A leasehold tenancy which at common law could be terminated by either party at any time without advance notice.
   
Estate For Life
 
A freehold estate whose duration is measured by and limited to the life or lives of one or more persons.
   
Estate For Period To Period
 
A leasehold tenancy that continues indefinitely for successive periods of time until terminated by proper notice. When the periods are one month in duration it is often called a month-to-month tenancy.
   
Estate For Years
 
A lease that will expire at a definite time or date. A leasehold tenancy of a fixed duration being a definite and ascertainable period of a year or any fraction of multiple thereof. It has a definite beginning and ending date and hence a known and definite duration.
   
Estate of Inheritance
 
An estate that may go to the heirs of the deceased. All freehold estates are estates of inheritance except life estates.
   
Estop
 
To ban stop or impede.
   
Estoppel
 
A doctrine whereby one is forbidden to contradict or deny his or her own previous statement act or position. The doctrine that prevents a person from exercising a legal right because that person previously acted in an inconsistent manner so that a third person detrimentally relied on the earlier acts.
   
Et Al
 
Abbreviation meaning and others (other person).
   
Et Ux
 
Abbreviation meaning and wife.
   
Ethics
 
A standard of conduct that all members of a given profession owe to the public clients or patrons and to other members of that profession.
   
Eviction
 
Dispossession by legal process as in the termination of a tenant's right to possession through re-entry or other legal proceedings.
   
Evidence
 
All relevant information facts and exhibits admissible in a trial.
   
Ex Parte
 
By only one party or side. For example an injunction obtained by evidence presented by only one side without notice to the other parties.
   
Exception
 
A right or interest retained by a grantor when conveying property; also called an exception.
   
Exchange
 
A reciprocal transfer of properties between two or more parties.
   
Exclusive Agency
 
A contract hiring the broker as the exclusive agent for the seller. If anyone except the seller finds a buyer the broker has earned the commission.
   
Exclusive Agency Listing
 
A written agreement giving one agent the exclusive right to sell property for a specified period of time but reserving the right of the owner to sell the property himself or herself without liability for the payment of a commission.
   
Exclusive Right To Sell Agency
 
A contract hiring the broker as the only person authorized to sell property. If anyone including the seller finds a buyer the broker earns the commissions.
   
Exclusive-Right-To-Sell Listing
 
A written agreement giving one agent the exclusive right to sell property for a specified period of time. The agent may collect a commission if the property is sold by anyone including the owner during the term of the listing agreement.
   
Exculpatory Clause
 
A provision in leases and other instruments seeking to relieve one party of liability for his negligence and other acts. In residential leases such clauses are invalid and in other leases the courts have limited the landlord's ability to escape liability for intentional acts and for acts of affirmative negligence.
   
Execute
 
To complete make perform do or to follow out. To sign a document intending to make it a binding instrument. The term is also used to indicate the performance of a contract.
   
Execution Lien
 
A lien arising because of an execution on property. A judgment is not self-executing; however when a writ of execution has been obtained the sheriff will levy (seize) property which creates a lien on the property.
   
Executor
 
A person named by the testator of a will to carry out its provisions as to the disposition of the estate. A personal representative appointed in a will to administer a decedent's estate.
   
Expansible House
 
A home designed for expansion and additions in the future.
   
Expansion Joint
 
A fiber strip used to separate units of concrete to prevent cracking due to expansion as a result of temperature changes.
   

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