Glossary of Real Estate Terms Q thru T

Qualifying Guidelines – Criteria used to determine eligibility for a loan.

Qualifying Ratios – Calculations that are used in determining the loan amount that a borrower qualifies for, typically a comparison of the borrower’s total monthly income to monthly debt payments and other recurring monthly obligations.

Quality Control – A system of safeguards to ensure that loans are originated, underwritten and serviced according to the lender’s standards and, if applicable, the standards of the investor, governmental agency, or mortgage insurer.

Quit Claim Deed – A deed that conveys only that right, title, or interest that the grantor has, or may have, and does not warrant that the grantor actually has any interest in the property.The grantor under a quit-claim deed releases whatever interest he may have to the grantee.


Radon – A toxic gas found in the soil beneath a house that can contribute to cancer and other illnesses.

Rate Cap – The limit on the amount an interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) can increase or decrease during an adjustment period.

Rate Lock – An agreement in which an interest rate is “locked in” or guaranteed for a specified period of time prior to closing.

Ratified Sales Contract – A contract that shows both you and the seller of the house have agreed to your offer. This offer may include sales contingencies, such as obtaining a mortgage of a certain type and rate, getting an acceptable inspection, making repairs, closing by a certain date, etc.

Real estate – A piece of land and any improvements or fixtures located on that land.

Real estate agent – A licensed professional who facilitates the buying and selling of real estate.

Real Estate Professional – An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. The real estate professional is paid a percentage of the home sale price by the seller. Unless you’ve specifically contracted with a buyer’s agent, the real estate professional represents the interest of the seller. Real estate professionals may be able to refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers, but are generally not involved in the lending process.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)- A federal law that requires lenders to provide home mortgage borrowers with information about transaction related costs prior to settlement, as well as information during the life of the loan regarding servicing and escrow accounts. RESPA also prohibits kickbacks and unearned fees in the mortgage loan business.

Real Property – Land and anything permanently affixed thereto — including buildings, fences, trees, and minerals.

REALTOR®- A real estate agent or broker who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS.

Recorder – The public official who keeps records of transactions that affect real property in the area. Sometimes known as a “Registrar of Deeds” or “County Clerk.”

Recording – The filing of a lien or other legal documents in the appropriate public record.

Refinance – Getting a new mortgage with all or some portion of the proceeds used to pay off the prior mortgage.

Rehabilitation Mortgage – A mortgage loan made to cover the costs of repairing, improving, and sometimes acquiring an existing property.

Remaining Term – The original number of payments due on the loan minus the number of payments that have been made.

Repayment Plan – An arrangement by which a borrower agrees to make additional payments to pay down past due amounts while still making regularly scheduled payments.

Replacement Cost – The cost to replace damaged personal property without a deduction for depreciation.

Rescission – The cancellation or annulment of a transaction or contract by operation of law or by mutual consent. Borrowers have a right to cancel certain mortgage refinance and home equity transactions within three business days after closing, or for up to three years in certain instances.

Residential property – A piece of property whose highest and best use is the maintenance of a residence.

Revolving Debt – Credit that is extended by a creditor under a plan in which (1) the creditor contemplates repeated transactions; (2) the creditor may impose a finance charge from time to time on an outstanding unpaid balance; and (3) the amount of credit that may be extended to the consumer during the term of the plan is generally made available to the extent that any outstanding balance is repaid.

Right of First Refusal (ROFR)- A provision in an agreement that requires the owner of a property to give another party the first opportunity to purchase or lease the property before he or she offers it for sale or lease to others.

Rural Housing Service (RHS)- An agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which operates a range of programs to help rural communities and individuals by providing loan and grants for housing and community facilities. The agency also works with private lenders to guarantee loans for the purchase or construction of single family housing.


Sale/Leaseback – A transaction in which the buyer leases the property back to the seller for a specified period of time.

Second Mortgage – A mortgage that has a lien position subordinate to the first mortgage.

Secondary Mortgage Market – The market in which mortgage loan and mortgage backed securities are bought and sold.

Secured Loan – A loan that is backed by property such as a house, car, jewelry, etc.

Securities – A financial form that shows the holder owns a share or shares of a company (stock) or has loaned money to a company or government organization (bond).

Security – The property that will be given or pledged as collateral for a loan.

Seller Take Back – An agreement in which the seller of a property provides financing to the buyer for the home purchase. See also, “Owner Financing.”

Service members Civil Relief Act- A federal law that restricts the enforcement of civilian debts against certain military personnel who may not be able to pay because of active military service. It also provides other protections to certain military personnel.

Servicer – A firm that performs servicing functions, including collecting mortgage payments, paying the borrower’s taxes and insurance and generally managing borrower escrow accounts.

Servicing – The tasks a lender performs to protect the mortgage investment, including the collection of mortgage payments, escrow administration, and delinquency management.

Settlement – The process of completing a loan transaction at which time the mortgage documents are signed and then recorded, funds are disbursed, and the property is transferred to the buyer (if applicable). Also called closing or escrow in different jurisdictions. See also, “Closing”

Settlement Statement- A document that lists all closing costs on a consumer mortgage transaction.

Short Sale – A real estate transaction in which the proceeds of a home sale are not sufficient to cover the amount that is owed. A mortgage lender must approve the sale, which can save time and money compares with foreclosure.

Soft Second Loan – A second mortgage whose payment is forgiven or is deferred until resale of the property.

Special Warranty Deed – A deed in which the grantor limits the title warranty given to the grantee to anyone claiming by, from, through, or under him, the grantor. The grantor does not warrant against title defects arising from conditions that existed before he owned the property.

Subordinate Financing – Any mortgage or other lien with lower priority than the first mortgage.

Survey – A precise measurement of a property by a licensed surveyor, showing legal boundaries of a property and the dimensions and location of improvements.

Sweat Equity – A borrower’s contribution to the down payment for the purchase of a property in the form of labor or services rather than cash.


Taxes and Insurance – Funds collected as part of the borrower’s monthly payment and held in escrow for the payment of the borrower’s, or funds paid by the borrower for, state and local property taxes and insurance premiums.

Tenants by the Entireties – (1) unity of possession (joint ownership and control); (2) unity of interest (the interests must be identical – i.e. Each party has the same percentage interest as the others); (3) unity of title (the interests must have originated in the same instrument – i.e. They must take title on the same instrument); (4) unity of time (the interests must have commenced simultaneously – i.e. Must take title at the same time); (5) survivorship; and (6) unity of marriage (the parties must be married at the time the property became titled in their joint names). When property is held as a tenancy by the entireties, only the creditors of both the husband and wife, jointly, may attach the tenancy by the entireties property; the property is not divisible on behalf of one spouse alone, and therefore it cannot be reached to satisfy the obligation of only one spouse. See, BEAL BANK, SSB, v. ALMAND AND ASSOCIATES, 780 So.2d 45 (Fla. 2001)

Tenants in Common – You cannot be a tenant in common by yourself. It requires only one (1) unity which is called unity of possession (i.e. Joint ownership and control). Each person in the co-tenancy has the right to possess the property. The parties can own the property in whatever percentages they want. Any party can sell their interest to anyone without notice to the other owners.

Termite Inspection – An inspection to determine whether a property has termite infestation or termite damage. In many parts of the country, a home must be inspected for termites before it can be sold.

Title – The right to, and the ownership of, property. A title or deed is sometimes used as proof of ownership of land.

Title company – An organization which researches and certifies ownership of real estate before it is bought or sold. Title companies also act at the facilitator ensures all parties are paid during the real estate transaction.

Title insurance – A policy which insures a property owner should a prior claim arise against the property after the purchase has been completed. This also covers a lender should a question of ownership arise.

Title Insurance Policy (Lender’s Policy)- Prior to bank lending Buyer/Borrower money to buy that property they want to make sure whomever sells you the property actually owns the property, that there aren’t any superior claims, outstanding judgments, liens, or other title defects that could cause the property to be ripped away. So as a condition of giving you that loan, Lenders will require a Lender’s Title Insurance Policy to protect themselves.

Title Insurance Policy (Owner’s Policy)- Covers the buyer both legally and financially and insures you will not be liable for any title flaw that arose from the property’s history before you purchased it. The Owner’s Title Insurance Policy will stay in effect as long as you or your heirs own the property. FTIC will be there to pay valid claims and cover the costs of defending any attack on your title, now or in the future.

Title search – The process whereby the TITLE COMPANY researches a properties title history and ensures that no outstanding claims exist.

Trade Equity – Real estate or assets given to the seller as part of the down payment for the property.

Transfer of ownership – Any means by which the ownership of a property changes hands.

Transfer Tax – State or local tax payable when title to property passes from one owner to another.

Treasury Index – An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It is based on the results of auctions by the U.S. Treasury of Treasury bills and securities.

Truth In Lending Act (TILA)- A federal law that requires disclosure of a truth in lending statement for consumer credit. The statement includes a summary of the total cost of credit, such as the annual percentage rate (APR) and other specifics of the credit.

Two to Four Family Property – A residential property that provides living space (dwelling units) for two to four families, although ownership of the structure is evidenced by a single deed; a loan secured by such a property is considered to be a single family mortgage.

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