Chain of Title
A chronological list of recorded instruments tracing title to land, form the original owner to the present owner.

The maximum which an adjustable rate mortgage may increase, regardless of index changes.

Clear Title
Title to property which is free from liens, defects or other encumbrances.

The process of completing a real estate transaction during which the seller delivers title to the buyer in exchange for payment of the purchase price. Called a “settlement” in some areas.

Closing Costs
Expenses, beyond the selling price, such as loan fees, title fees, etc. Paid when documents are executed and/or recorded and the sale is complete.

Closing Statement
A summary, in the form of a balance sheet, showing the amounts of debits and credits to which each party to real estate transaction is entitled upon closing.

Compensation due a real estate broker for acting on behalf of the principal.

Community Property
Property acquired during a marriage by either a husband or wife, or both, which is not separate property.

Comparables (comps)
An abbreviation for comparable properties used for comparative purposes in the appraisal process.

A required settlement in all contracts by which something of value, including a promise, is exchanged for the act or promise of another.


Action conditioned upon a certain event. Acceptance of the terms of a contract based on something else happening or certain conditions being met.


The transfer of title or an interest in real property by means of written instrument such as a deed of trust.