Sale and Leaseback
A situation in which the grantor in a deed to a parcel of property sells it and retains possession by simultaneously leasing it from the grantee.

Sales Contract
A binding agreement between the buyer and seller outlining the terms of a sale of real estate.

Search
In title industry parlance, a careful exploration and examination of the public records in an effort to find all recorded instruments relating to a particular chain of title.

Settlement Statement
A statement prepared by broker, escrow, or lender, giving a complete breakdown of costs involved in a real estate sale. A separate statement is prepared for the seller and the buyer.

Sheriff's Deed
An instrument drawn under order of court to convey title to property sold to satisfy a judgment at law.

Simultaneous Issue
An owner's title insurance policy is issued at the same time as a mortgagee insurance policy.

Special Assessment
A charge placed against real estate by public authority to defray the cost of making public improvements from which the real estate benefits.

Special Lien
A lien that binds a specified piece of property, unlike a general lien, which is levied against all one's assets. It creates a right to retain something of value belonging to another person as compensation for labor, material, or money expended on that person's behalf. In some localities it is called "particular" lien or "specific" lien. See Lien

Squatter
One who settles upon unoccupied land without legal claim or authority. (See Adverse Possession.)

Starter
A copy of the last policy or report issued by a title insurer which described the title to land upon which a new search is to be made. In some states, this is called a back title letter or back title certificate.

Subdivision
An area of land laid out and divided into lots, blocks, and building sites, and in which public facilities are laid out, such as streets, alleys, parks, and easements for public utilities.

Subordination Agreement
An agreement by which one encumbrance (for example, a mortgage) is made subject to another encumbrance (for example, a mortgage). To "subordinate" is to "make subject to," or to make of lower priority.  

Surface Rights
Rights to enter upon and use the surface of a parcel of land, usually in connection with an oil and gas lease or other mineral lease. They may be "implied" by the language of the lease (no explicit reservation or exception of the surface rights) or "explicitly" set forth.  

Survey
The measurement by a surveyor of real property which delineates the boundaries of a parcel of land. An ALTA survey additionally delineates the exact location of all improvements, encroachments, easements and other matters affecting the title to the property in question. A survey may be required by a title insurance company whenever the company is requested to issue an ALTA Extended Coverage Policy.