top of page

Real Estate Agent Dictionary

Bookmark this page as a resource for real estate terms. 

A | B | C D | E F, G, H | I, J, K | L | M | N, O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V, W, X, Y, Z


EASEMENT A privilege or right which the owner of one parcel of land may have to use or enjoy the lands of another, i.e., a right-of-way.


EASEMENT APPURTENANT An easement which is attached to, accompanies, and passes with a greater interest; it has no existence apart from the superior interest. Also called PERTAINING EASEMENT.


EARNEST MONEY The cash deposit made by a purchaser of real estate as evidence of good faith.


ECONOMIC LIFE The period over which a property will yield a return on the investment, over and above the economic or ground rent due to land.


ECONOMIC OBSOLESCENCE Impairment of desirability or useful life arising from economic forces, such as changes in optimum land use, a legislative enactment which restrict or impair property rights, and changes in supply-demand relationships.


EFFECTIVE AGE Age in years, indicated by the condition and utility of a structure.


EJECTMENT A form of action to regain possession of real property, with damages for the unlawful retention.


ELEVATION Surveying: The distance above or below a datum. Architecture: A sketch of the front or side of a building.


EMBLEMENTS Growing crops (called "fructus industriales") which are produced annually through labor and industry. 

Emblements are regarded as personal property even prior to harvest; thus, a tenant has the right to take the annual crop, even if the harvest does not.


EMINENT DOMAIN The right of the government, both state and federal, to take private property for a necessary public use, with just compensation paid to the owner. Through eminent domain, the state may acquire land.


ENCROACHMENT Trespass; the building of a structure or any improvements partly or wholly intruding upon the property of another.


ENCUMBRANCE Any claim, lien, charge or liability attached to and binding upon real property which may lessen the value of the property but will not necessarily prevent transfer of title. There are two general classifications of encumbrances.


ENDANGERED SPECIES Plants and animals which are in danger of extinction throughout a significant portion of their ranges, as listed by U.S. Department of Interior.


ENGINEERING FEASIBILITY STUDY Evaluation of a proposed construction at a particular site, to determine whether the proposed project is economically, structurally, and environmentally feasible.


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT Analysis of a proposed action; the basis for deciding whether the proposed action will have a significant impact on the environment.


ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT A detailed, full-disclosure report pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). An EIS identifies and analyzes the anticipated environmental impact of a proposed action, discusses how adverse effects will be mitigated.


EQUITY In real estate, the interest or value of the real estate over and above the amount of the indebtedness thereon.


EQUITY OF REDEMPTION Also known as Statutory Redemption or Redemption. The right of the mortgagor, before a foreclosure sale, to reclaim property which has been forfeited due to mortgage default.


EROSION Wearing away land through processes of nature, for example by streams and wind.


ESCALATION CLAUSE A clause in a lease which causes a rent increase, contingent on a specific action.


ESCHEAT The reverting of property to the state by reason of failure of person legally entitled to hold or when heirs capable of inheriting are lacking.


ESCROW In real estate, it is the state or condition of a deed which is conditionally held by a third party, called the escrow agent, pending the performance or fulfillment of some act or condition.


ESCROW AGREEMENT A written agreement between two or more parties whereby the grantor, promisor or obligor, delivers certain instruments or property into the hands of a third party, the escrow agent.


ESTATE In real estate it refers to the degree, quantity, nature, and extent of interest which a person has in real property, such as a fee simple absolute estate, an estate for years.


ESTATE AT SUFFERANCE An estate in land arising when the tenant wrongfully holds over after the expiration of his term.


ESTATE FOR LIFE A freehold estate, not of inheritance, but which is held by the tenant for his own life or the life or lives of one or more other persons, or for an indefinite period that may extend for the life or lives of persons in being.


ESTATE FOR YEARS An interest in land for a fixed period of time, from one day upwards; often called a tenancy for years.


ESTATE FROM PERIOD TO PERIOD An interest in land where there is no definite termination date but the rental period is fixed at a certain sum per week, month or year; often called tenancy from year to year.


ESTATE IN REVERSION The residue of an estate left in the grantor to commence in possession after the termination of some particular estate.


ESTOPPEL A legal doctrine which prevents one from asserting rights that are inconsistent with a previous position or representation.


ESTOVERS Wood which a tenant is allowed to take from the landlord's premises for the necessary fuel, implements, repairs, etc., of himself and his (resident) servants.


ET AL. Abbreviation for et alii, Latin meaning and others.


ET UX. Abbreviation for et uxor, meaning and wife.


ET VIR Latin meaning and husband.


EVICTION Dispossession by process of law; the act of depriving a person of the possession of lands he has held pursuant to a judgment of the court.


EXCESS Designates real property which is no longer required by the Federal agency accountable for it.


EXCESSING The process of determining that real estate is not needed by the Army; reporting excess property to the disposal agency for disposal.


EXCHANGE Disposal of any real interest by exchanging it for another real interest of equal value instead of cash.


EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE JURISDICTION Jurisdiction under which the Federal Government holds all the authority of a state legislate over a particular area, except authority to serve process in cases arising from occurrences outside of the area.


EXECUTOR An individual or institution designated in a will and appointed by a court to settle the estate of the testator.


EXPERT WITNESS Persons with particular knowledge or skill which enables them to give an opinion on the facts in dispute.

bottom of page