Real Estate Glossary

Terms and concepts to improve your real estate understanding.
Browse the glossary using this index

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the earth's surface, extending downward to the center of the earth and upward infinitely into space, including things permanently attached by nature, such as trees and water.
Entry link: land

law of agency

defines the rights and duties of the principal and the agent. It applies to a variety of business transactions. Contract law and real estate licensing law combine with the law of agency to interpret the relationship between licensees and their clients.
Entry link: law of agency


is a contract between the owner and the party who will occupy the real estate.
Entry link: lease

leased fee

is the owner’s interest in rented or leased property. The owner gives up his right of possession in exchange for the income from rent and the return of the property at the end of the lease. The tenant acquires a leasehold interest.

Fee Simple = Leased Fee + Leasehold
Entry link: leased fee


is the is the tenant’s interest in real property. The tenant acquires the right of possession from the property owner in exchange for rent. Normally, the leasehold interest in rented property is worth nothing and the leased fee and fee simple are equal Fee Simple = Leased Fee + Leasehold
Entry link: leasehold

leasing agent

Agent is employed either by the owner directly or through the owner's property manager. Typical leasing agent services include:

  • market research to estimate a rental price for the property based on analysis of supply and demand in the market area and a comparative analysis between the property to be leased and the properties competing for the same tenants.
  • advertising the property
  • showing the property to prospective tenants
  • negotiating the lease terms under the owner's direction or the direction of the property manager
  • getting the lease signed


Entry link: leasing agent

legal description

A description of a specific parcel of real estate complete enough for an independent surveyor to locate and identify it.
Entry link: legal description

legal will

is the device used to direct the distribution of an estate upon the death of the owner.
Entry link: legal will


the tenant
Entry link: lessee


the landlord
Entry link: lessor

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