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Ever had that moment when a real estate definition leaves you with more questions than answers, causing a wave of irritation? Yeah... us too.

Common Joe 'n Jane Real Estate Wiki

Your down-to-earth guide to mastering real estate exam terms and concepts! We've stripped away the industry jargon and complex language, breaking down intricate ideas into bite-sized, easy-to-digest pieces for all the common "Joe 'n Jane's" out there.

Earnest Money Escrow
Earnest money escrow is a special account where a buyer puts a deposit, called earnest money, to show they are serious about purchasing a property. This account is managed by a neutral third party, called an escrow agent, who makes sure the money... (Read more)
An easement is a legal right that allows someone who doesn't own a piece of land to use it for a specific purpose. The owner of the land still owns the land, but they have to allow the person with the easement to use it in a... (Read more)
Easement Appurtenant
An easement appurtenant is a legal right that allows someone to use a specific piece of land for a specific purpose, as long as they own a neighboring piece of land. It's like a special pass that comes with owning a certain property./bb/When... (Read more)
Economic Age-Life Method
The Economic Age-Life Method is a way of estimating the value of a building based on how much longer it is expected to be useful. It takes into account the age of the building, its expected lifespan, and the cost of... (Read more)
Economic Life
Economic life is the amount of time something, like a building, can be used to make money or be useful before it gets too old or worn out. It's the period when the building is worth keeping and maintaining, after which it's better to replace it... (Read more)
Economic Obsolescence
Economic obsolescence is a reduction in the value of a property due to external factors outside of the property itself, such as changes in the neighborhood or the local economy. It can also occur due to changes in technology or trends that make... (Read more)
Economic Rent
Economic rent, also known as market rent, is the amount of rent that a property owner can charge for renting out their property in a specific market or location. It takes into account the demand for rental properties in that area, as well as... (Read more)
Effective Age
Effective age is a term used in real estate that describes the age of a building based on its current condition, rather than its actual age. It takes into account factors like wear and tear, updates, or improvements that have... (Read more)
Effective Gross Income (EGI)
Effective Gross Income (EGI) is a term used in real estate to describe the total money a property owner can expect to make from their property before any expenses are taken out. It includes not just the rent paid by tenants, but also any... (Read more)
Effective Gross Income Multiplier (EGIM)
Effective Gross Income Multiplier (EGIM) is a term used in real estate to help figure out how much a property is worth by comparing the property's price to the money it makes before expenses, which is called the Effective Gross Income (EGI).... (Read more)
Elective Share
Elective Share is a legal term used to protect the spouse of someone who has passed away. It means that the surviving spouse has the right to claim a certain percentage of their deceased spouse's estate, even if the will doesn't include them.... (Read more)
Elements of Value
Elements of value refer to the different factors that determine the value of a property. These factors can include the property's location, condition, size, and amenities, as well as the demand for the property, the buyer's ability to purchase... (Read more)
Emblements is a term used in real estate and law to describe crops that are planted and cared for by a tenant on someone else's land. These crops are considered the tenant's personal property, even though they are growing on land that belongs... (Read more)
Eminent Domain
Eminent Domain is the power that the government has to take private property for public use. They can do this as long as they provide fair compensation to the property owner. This process is important for building things like roads, schools,... (Read more)
Encroachment is when someone's property, like a building or a fence, goes beyond their own property line and extends onto someone else's land. It can cause disputes between neighbors and might need to be... (Read more)
Encumbrance is a term in real estate that refers to any claim or restriction on a property that can affect its value or limit its use. It can be a mortgage, a lien, or an easement, and it may make it harder to sell or transfer the property... (Read more)
End of Year (EOY)
EOY stands for "End of Year." It's a term often used in finance, accounting, and business to refer to the last day of the calendar year or the last day of a company's fiscal year. People use EOY to evaluate financial performance, set goals, and... (Read more)
Enforceability is a term used to describe whether a contract or agreement can be legally upheld and enforced in a court of law. If a contract meets all the necessary legal requirements, it's considered enforceable, meaning that the parties... (Read more)
Equalization is the process of making things fair and equal, especially when it comes to property taxes. In real estate, equalization is used to make sure that properties are assessed and taxed consistently so that everyone pays their... (Read more)
Equalization is the process of ensuring that property taxes are distributed fairly and evenly among all property owners in a given area. It is designed to make sure that everyone pays their fair share of property taxes based on the value of... (Read more)
Equilibrium is a term that describes a state of balance or stability, where opposing forces or factors are evenly matched, and there is no change happening. In real estate, equilibrium can refer to the balance between supply and demand, where... (Read more)
Equitable Title
Equitable title is a term that means someone has the right to eventually own a property, even though they don't legally own it just yet. In real estate, a person who has equitable title has a claim to the property and will become the legal... (Read more)
Equitable Title
Equitable title refers to the right to use and occupy a property, even if the legal ownership of the property is held by another party. It's a legal term that describes a situation where someone has an interest in a property, but not the full... (Read more)
Equity is the difference between what a property is worth and how much money is still owed on it. In other words, it's the part of the property's value that the owner actually owns without any debt. As you pay off your mortgage or the... (Read more)
Equity Capitalization Rate
Equity Capitalization Rate, or Equity Cap Rate, is a percentage that helps investors figure out how much money they can expect to make from a property in relation to their share of ownership. It's a way to compare different investment properties... (Read more)
Equity of Redemption
Equity of redemption is the right of a mortgagor (homeowner who has a mortgage) to pay off their debt and reclaim full ownership of their property before it's sold in a foreclosure by the mortgagee (lender). It gives borrowers a chance to... (Read more)
Escalation Clause
An escalation clause is a part of a contract that allows the price to increase under specific circumstances. Picture yourself bidding on a rare collectible you really want, and you don't want to lose it to someone else who bids slightly higher.... (Read more)
Escalator Clause
An escalator clause is a part of a contract that allows for specific changes, like increasing rent or adjusting payment terms, based on certain events or conditions. Think of it like having a rule that says, "If something specific happens,... (Read more)
"Escheat" is a term that describes what happens when someone dies without a will or any relatives to inherit their property. In this case, the property goes to the government. It's like when you find an abandoned item, and since no one claims... (Read more)
"Escrow" is a process in which a neutral third party holds onto something valuable, like money or documents, until specific conditions are met. Imagine you're making a deal with someone, and both of you want to make sure everything goes... (Read more)
Escrow Agent
An "escrow agent" is a neutral, trustworthy person or company that holds onto important things, like money or documents, for two parties making a deal. They make sure the deal is fair and all agreed-upon conditions are met before releasing the... (Read more)
An "estate" refers to everything a person owns, including their money, property, and other belongings. It's like the entire collection of things you have, big and small, that can be passed on to someone else when you're no... (Read more)
Estate in Land
An "estate in land" is the amount of legal rights and ownership a person has over a piece of land or property. It's like having a special set of rules that tells you how much control you have over your piece of land and what you can do... (Read more)
"Estoppel" is a legal principle that stops someone from going back on their word or denying something they previously agreed to. It's like when you make a promise to your friend, and later you can't pretend you didn't because they can prove you... (Read more)
"Ethics," particularly in a professional setting, represent the principles that direct honorable business conduct. It's like having a rulebook that helps people in the business world know how to behave honestly, fairly, and responsibly when... (Read more)
"Eviction" is when a landlord legally forces a tenant to leave a rented property due to reasons like breaking the rental agreement, not paying rent, or the lease coming to... (Read more)
Evidence of Title
"Evidence of Title" refers to documents or information that prove someone legally owns a piece of property, like a house or land. It's like having a special paper or record that says, "This belongs to me!" Actual or constructive notice means... (Read more)
Excess Land (Surplus Land)
"Excess Land" or "Surplus Land" is an extra piece of land that belongs to a property but isn't needed for the property's main purpose or highest and best use. Imagine having a big backyard, but only using a small part of it for a garden, leaving... (Read more)
Excess Rent
"Excess Rent" is when a tenant pays more rent for a place than what other similar properties in the area... (Read more)
"Exclusion" is one of the legal rights that come with owning a piece of property. It allows the owner to keep other people from entering or using their property. It's like having the power to say, "This is my place, and you can't come in without... (Read more)
Exclusive Agency
"Exclusive Agency" is a special agreement between a property owner and a real estate agent, where the agent gets paid a commission if they or another agent find a buyer or renter for the property, but not if the owner finds the person... (Read more)
Exclusive Right to Sell
"Exclusive Right to Sell" is a special agreement between a property owner and a real estate agent, where the agent gets paid a commission no matter who sells the property, even if the owner sells it themselves. It's like having a helper who gets... (Read more)
Exculpatory Clause
An "Exculpatory Clause" is a part of a contract or lease that says the owner or landlord won't be held responsible if something bad happens to the tenant's property or if the tenant gets injured. It's like a rule that says, "If something goes... (Read more)
Executed Contract
An "Executed Contract" is an agreement where everyone involved has done what they promised to do. It's like when you and your friends make a plan to trade something, and once everyone has traded their items, the deal is done. An executed... (Read more)
Executory Contract
An "Executory Contract" is an agreement where everyone involved hasn't yet done everything they promised to do. It's like when you and your friends make a plan to trade something, but some parts of the trade still need to happen before the deal... (Read more)
Expense Stop
An "Expense Stop" is a limit set in a lease, usually for commercial properties like offices or stores, where the landlord will only pay for a certain amount of the tenant's expenses, like taxes or maintenance. If the expenses go over that limit,... (Read more)
"Expenses" in the context of real estate are the costs that come with owning, operating, and maintaining a property that generates income, like an apartment building or an office complex. These costs can include things like property... (Read more)
Exposure Period/Time
"Exposure Period" or "Exposure Time" in real estate refers to the amount of time a property has been on the market and advertised to... (Read more)
Express Contract
An Express Contract is a type of agreement where all the terms are clearly stated and understood by everyone involved. This can be in writing or spoken aloud. It's like when two people make a deal, and they both know exactly what they're... (Read more)
External Obsolescence
External Obsolescence is when something outside a property causes its value to go down. It's not because of the property itself, but rather something happening nearby that makes it less appealing or valuable to... (Read more)
Externalities are things happening outside a property's boundaries that can either help or hurt its value. They're not directly part of the property but can make it more or less attractive to... (Read more)