Capitalization Rate
The percentage (acceptable to an average buyer) used to determine the value of income property through capitalization  

Certificate of Title
In areas where attorneys examine abstracts or chains of title, a written opinion, executed by the examining attorney, stating that title is vested as stated in the abstract.

Chain of Title
The succession of conveyances from some accepted starting point whereby the present holder of title to real property derives his or her title.

Clear Title
A title that is not encumbered or burdened with unacceptable defects.

Close of Escrow
The date the documents are recorded and title passes from Seller to Buyer. On this date, the Buyer becomes the legal owner, and title insurance becomes effective.

The final procedure in the real estate sales process, where the sale and pertinent loan are completed by the execution of documents for recording. In some areas, this procedure is known as the closing of escrow.  

Closing Costs
The expenses which buyers and sellers normally incur to complete a transaction in the transfer of ownership of real estate. These costs are in addition to price of the property and are items paid on the closing day. These normally include an origination fee, property taxes, charges for title insurance and escrow costs, appraisal fees, etc., also called "settlement costs." The agreement of sale negotiated previously between the buyer and the seller may state in writing who will pay each of the above costs or all or a portion of the closing costs in general.  

Closing Statement
A listing of the debits and credits of the buyer and seller to a real estate transaction for the financial settlement of the transaction. See HUD-1 Form

Cloud on Title
An irregularity, possible claim, or encumbrance which, if valid, would adversely affect or impair the title.

Money paid to a real estate agent or broker by the seller as compensation for finding a buyer and completing the sale. Usually it is a percentage of the sale price.

A title insurance term for the preliminary report issued before the actual title policy. It shows the condition of title (as revealed by a title search , a thorough search of the county records) and the steps necessary to complete the transfer of title. It is a written promise to insure a loan.

Community Property
Property acquired by husband, wife or both during marriage which gives each spouse an interest in the property whether each appears in title or not.

Comparable Sales
Sales that have similar characteristics as the subject property, used for analysis in the appraisal. Commonly called "comps".

The taking of private property by the government for public use - as for a street or a storm drain - upon making just compensation to the owner. This right or power of government to take property for a necessary public use is called "eminent domain".

A form of property ownership providing for individual ownership of a specific apartment or other space not necessarily on ground level, together with an undivided interest in the land or other parts of the structure in common with other owners.

A person appointed by the court to care for the person and/or property of an incompetent adult or an adult unable to care for their person or property because of health.

The actual price at which the property is transferred.

Constructive Notice
Notice imparted by the public records of the county when documents entitled to recording are recorded.

A condition that must be met for a contract or a commitment to remain binding.

In the construction industry, a contractor is one who contracts to erect buildings or portions of them. There are also contractors for each phase of construction: heating, electrical, plumbing, air conditioning, road building, bridge and dam erection, and others.

Conventional Mortgage
A mortgage loan not insured by HUD or guaranteed by the Veterans' Administration. It is subject to conditions established by the lending institution and State statutes. The mortgage rates may vary with different institutions and between States. (States have various interest limits.)

The act of deeding or transferring title to another.

A written instrument that passes interest in real estate from one person to another, including land contracts, leases, deeds, etc.

Cooperative Housing
An apartment building or a group of dwellings owned by a corporation, the stockholders of which are the residents of the dwellings. It is operated for their benefit by their elected board of directors. In a cooperative, the corporation or association owns title to the real estate. A resident purchases stock in the corporation which entitles him to occupy a unit in the building or property owned by the cooperative. While the resident does not own his unit, he has an absolute right to occupy his unit for as long as he owns the stock.

An entity authorized by law and established by a single person or group of people, the stockholders, which is endowed with certain rights, privileges and duties similar to an individual.

An agreement written into deeds and other instruments promising performance or nonperformance of certain acts or stipulating certain uses or non-uses of the property.

Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
Commonly called "CC & R's" the term usually refers to a written recorded declaration which sets forth certain covenants, conditions, restrictions, rules or regulations established by a subdivider or other landowner to create uniformity of buildings and use within tracts of land or groups of lots. The restrictions also can be established by deed. CC & R's are sometimes referred to as private zoning.

Credit Report
The report to a prospective lender on the credit standing of a prospective borrower.