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Real Estate Agent Dictionary
Bookmark this page as a resource for real estate terms.
DAMAGES Compensation or indemnity recovered through the courts by any person who has suffered loss, detriment or injury to person, property or rights. A sum of money awarded to a person injured by an act of another. May be compensatory or punitive.
DEBT SERVICE Periodic payment on a debt, for interest on and retirement of the principal.
DECLARATION OF TAKING Part of a condemnation package; a document stating the need for the property, describing the property, and stating that the property is being taken by eminent domain.
DEDICATION The application of privately-owned land to the public for no consideration, with the intent that the land will be accepted and used for public purposes. A landowner may dedicate the entire fee simple interest, or an easement such as a public right-of-way.
DEED A legal instrument in writing, duly executed, sealed, and delivered, whereby the owner of real property (grantor) conveys to another (grantee) some right, title, or interest in real estate.
DEED RESTRICTION A provision in a deed controlling or limiting the use of the land.
DEFAULT Failure to perform a specific, required legal duty.
DEFERRED MAINTENANCE Existing but unfulfilled requirements for repairs and rehabilitation, deferred until a later date.
DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT At a foreclosure sale, the difference between the indebtedness sued upon and the sale price or market value of the real estate. See also DEFICIENCY PAYMENT.
DEFICIENCY PAYMENT Additional compensation required in a final judgment in condemnation proceedings. See also DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT.
DEPRECIATION A lowering of value. A reduction; lessening. The decline in value of property. Loss in market value. Deterioration over a period of time. The opposite of appreciation.
DESCENT Succession to ownership of an estate by inheritance. Title by which one person, upon death of another, acquires real estate of the latter as an heir at law. The person who inherits is controlled by state statutes.
DETERIORATION Impairment of condition. One of the causes of depreciation and reflecting the loss in value brought about by wear and tear, disintegration, use in service, and the action of the elements.
DEVISE A transfer of real property under a will. The donor is the devisor and the recipient is the devisee. Where there is no will, the real property "descends" to the heirs.
DISCOUNT (1) That which can be taken off the established amount. Mortgages, for example, are frequently discounted when paid in advance of maturity. (2) A sum paid to obtain certain preferred mortgages, as the payment of points to a lending institution for FHA.
DISPOSAL An authorized method of permanently divesting the Government of control and responsibility for real and personal property. Sale of Government-owned property.
DISPOSSESS To deprive a person of possession and/or use of real property.
DOWER A common law estate in land given to the wife in her husband's real property upon his death, consisting of a life estate in one-third of all the real estate owned by the husband during the marriage.
DURESS Forcing action or inaction against a person's will.