Real Estate Definitions
Deed: A written document that conveys the ownership of real estate from one person or party to another.
Deed-in-lieu, or Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure: A deed given by a mortgagor to the mortgagee when the mortgage is in default, to avoid foreclosure.
Deed of trust: A written document that grants a trustee, in the event of foreclosure, the full power to sell, mortgage and subdivide the property in question.
Deed Restriction: A clause in a Deed that limits the uses of the property (e.g., types or quantities of structures permitted).
Default: The failure to meet the legal obligations in a contract; in real estate, failure to pay mortgage payments as scheduled or to comply with other stipulations of the mortgage.
Deferred interest: Interest on a mortgage which is delayed because the monthly payment of the mortgage is not large enough to cover the entire principal and interest due, and therefore is added to the loan balance See "negative amortization".
Deficiency judgment: A claim made by the holder of a note against the maker, in the event that a foreclosure sale does not bring in enough proceeds to fully cover the note and the costs of sale, for the difference.
Delivery: The final, unconditional and absolute transfer of a Deed from seller to buyer, such that the seller cannot revoke the transfer of ownership; the Deed itself does not pass title until the seller delivers it to the buyer.
Depreciation: A decline in the value of property, due to any cause; the opposite of appreciation Also an expense deduction taken for tax purposes over the period of owning income property.
Devise: To dispose or convey ownership of real property via a will.
Disclosure: A statement of facts made by the buyer about the condition of a property being sold and its surrounding area, required by law in most US states.
Discount point: A unit of measurement used for loan charges, with one point equaling 1 percent of the value of the loan.
Dower: The rights of a spouse to the property of their deceased spouse.
Down payment: The amount of the purchase price of a property paid in cash (i.e. not financed with a mortgage) that is required to secure the property; typically 20%.
Dual agency: Representation of opposing parties in a transaction (e.g. when a realtor is the agent for both buyer and seller); requires consent of both parties to be allowed, and is illegal in some US states.
Due-on-sale clause: A provision in a mortgage allowing the lender to demand payment of the entire balance of the note if the mortgagor sells or otherwise transfers the property.