ARV or After Repair Value in Real Estate Investing

A high percentage of investments in real estate involve the purchase of properties in need of remodel and/or repairs. The investor buys the property, makes the repairs and then flips or resells it hopefully at a profit at the After Repair Value.


Abstract of Title in Real Estate

An abstract of title in real estate is a written history of all the recorded documents and proceedings relating to a specific property.

Absolute Title to Real Estate

An absolute or clear title to real property is a title without any liens or judgments against the property.

Accelerated Depreciation in Real Estate

Accelerated depreciation allows for the depreciation of a commercial property with greater deductions in the property's early years.

Accelerated Amortization in Real Estate

A mortgage on real estate that is being amortized, will consist of a payment of principal and interest on some schedule. If the amount of principal paid is increased over the minimum required, then the amortization will be faster.

An Addendum to a Real Estate Contract

An addendum should not be confused with an amendment. While an amendment modifies a previously accepted contract, an addendum is part of the original contract. It adds necessary information, requirements or explantory documents to the original contract or purchase agreement. Once an agreement is reached and the contract accepted, additional documents are not added as addendums.


A real estate agent is an individual who is licensed to negotiate and arrange real estate sales; works for a real estate broker. Negotiate and arrange can include showing property, listing property, filling in contracts, listing agreements, and purchase contracts.

Amendment of a Real Estate Contract

An amendment, as it relates to a real estate contract or purchase agreement, refers to a document executed subsequent to the original contract being accepted by both parties, and modifying some aspect of the original contract. It's a change to the originally agreed upon terms. This should not be confused with an addendum.

Amortization in Real Estate

Amortization is the paying off of a mortgage or debt via periodic installment payments over time.

Arbitration in Real Estate Disputes

Arbitration is a more formalized procedure than mediation. In arbitration, a third party, or abitrator, hears both sides and discovers as much information about the dispute as possible. The abitrator, or arbitration panel, then makes a decision to settle the dispute. Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding.

Associate Broker

A real estate person holding a broker license that chooses to associate or affiliate with another sponsoring broker rather than opening their own brokerage office. They want the added knowledge and status of a broker, but do not desire to operate an independent office.

Blog or Web Log

Blog is short for web log. Begun as personal journal sites, blogs for business have become quite important. A real estate blog would contain local real estate information and posted entries of events and opinions.

BPO or Broker Price Opinion Definition

A BPO, or broker price opinion, is a broker's opinion of the value of a property in the current market. This term, and the product, are used mostly by lenders and banks that have properties facing foreclosure.


A real estate broker is a person licensed to negotiate and arrange real estate transactions. This would include writing contracts for listing and purchasing homes, land and commercial properties. The broker is a higher level license than a real estate agent and would be authorized to hire real estate agents to work under the broker's supervision.

Business Model

A business model is the theory and basic plan, as well as the structure, for operating a business. There are usually many business models in an industry. A model is chosen as a preference of how the owners want to operate, and as a response to their market and customer requirements. Real Estate business models include independent brokers, franchises, associate brokers, flat fee, commission, fee-for-service, and buyer agency.

Capitalization Rate in Real Estate

The capitalization rate, or cap rate, of a property is a percentage number applied to future income to determine current value. This formula is written as Cap Rate = Net Operating Income / Value.

Cash Flow Before Taxes in Real Estate Investment

The cash flow of an investment property is the actual flow of money into and out of the business without consideration of tax deductibility. All the inflows, less all the outflows constitute cash flow before taxes.

C.L.U.E. Report

A C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) Report is a report of the loss history of a residence. Claims made by the insured are reported monthly by the insurers to ChoicePoint, the company that compiles and distributes the report.

Commission Split

The commission split in real estate is a multi-level sharing of the gross commission as charged to the buyer or seller of real estate. Two brokerages can split the commission and then it can be split again between the broker and the agent(s).


Comparables (or Comps) refers to data about properties that are comparable in type and size to those of interest to a buyer or to the property a seller wishes to list. This data can be past sold property prices and information or list prices and data on current listings.

Comparative Market Analysis in Real Estate

A comparative market analysis or CMA in real estate is normally done to determine the current market value of a property to list it for the seller, or to help a buyer to determine what they would like to offer for the purchase.


A condominium is one of a group of housing units where each homeowner owns their individual unit space, and all the dwelling share ownership of areas of common use.

Contingency in Real Estate

A contingency, or condition, is written into a real estate contract to specify an event that, if it happens, the contract would cease to exist. An example would be a purchase contingent upon the buyer obtaining a loan at a specified interest rate or lower. Should the buyer be unable to do this, the contract would end.

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal in real estate refers to the exterior look of a property from the street curb. Curb appeal is a pleasing look upon drive-up.

Real Estate Franchises Definition

Learn the definition of a real estate franchise, with examples and how they are structured.

Debt Service Defined for the Real Estate Investor

Real estate investors must always be aware of their costs to hold and operate a property. Debt service is the annual cost in interest or other charges related to the mortgage on a real estate investment property.

Defeasible Fee Estate in Real Estate

When the rights of ownership in real estate are dependent on the occurrence or non-occurrence of a certain event, it is known as a defeasible fee estate.

Depreciation of Real Estate

Commercial and investment real estate properties receive a tax deduction annually for wear and tear or loss of utility of the property. This deduction over time is known as depreciation.


Professional designations in real estate indicate additional training and expertise in subject areas of specialization. They are indicated by letter acronyms that are placed after our name or title. An example would be YourName, ABR (indicates you have received training in the specialization of serving buyers and hold the designation Accredited Buyer Representitive).

Domain Name

The domain name is an internet location for your website that uses a name rather than the underlying number used by the computers. In other words, is what you type in to get to the site instead of the #.#.# that the name points to.

Drip Email

Drip email is a term used for a variety of products and services. Be sure that you know what you want to accomplish and choose the right real estate drip email system.
A duplex in real estate normally refers to a structure used for residential purposes and consisting of two living units with a common wall.

Encumbrances in Real Estate Defined

An encumbrance is a claim or liability against real estate. This can include liens, deed restrictions, easements or licenses.

Estate at Sufferance Type of Leasehold Estate

One type of leasehold estate is the "estate at sufferance". This happens when a tenant stays in possession of the property after the lease period has ended and without the consent of the owner or landlord.

Estate at Will Type of Leasehold Estate in Real Estate

An estate at will is one type of leasehold estate in real estate. In this type, no definite duration is set forth, nor is any periodic tenancy, such as month-to-month. The landlord consents to this unspecified period and rights and obligations of owner and tenant are specified in the lease.

Estate for Years Type of Leasehold Estate in Real Estate

An estate for years, or estate for term, is one type of leasehold estate in real estate. This type is a lease for a specific period, with a beginning and an ending date. No notice to vacate is required, as there is a definite date for the lease to end and the tenant to vacate.

Fair Use as a Part of Copyright Law

Fair use describes the defense to copyright infringement that infers that the use is to limited amounts of the copyrighted work. This might be the quoting of limited amounts of text from a book in order to review it or instruct on its content.

Farming an Area or Market Segment in Real Estate

When a real estate agent selects a subdivision, geographical area or demographic customer profile and does marketing to that area or market segment regularly, they are said to be farming the area or market. This can be by direct mail, postcards, door knocking, newsletters or even email campaigns.

Fee for Service

Fee for service in real estate is a financial model that charges the client for real estate listing or buyer services based on services performed, rather than a negotiated percentage of the selling price.

Fee Simple Ownership in Real Estate

A fee simple estate in land is the highest form of ownership recognized by law. The property owner is entitled to the full enjoyment and use of the property subject only to limitations such as deed restrictions or zoning.


A fiduciary is someone who acts in a legal role responsible for the best interests of another. In real estate, an agent acting in an agency capacity has certain fiduciary duties to their client as a legal requirement.

Fiduciary and Fiduciary Duties in Real Estate

A fiduciary is one who acts legally on behalf and in the best interests of another. There are certain common law duties attached to fiduciary. Duties of fiduciary include Obedience, Loyalty, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accounting and Reasonable Care.

Flat Fee Listing

This real estate pricing model charges some stated flat fee amount, rather than a percentage of the sale price, for listing a property in the Multiple Listing Service and providing a varied level of other services involved with the listing.

FSBO - For Sale by Owner

A FSBO, or For Sale by Owner property, is one that is being marketed by the owner without the involvement of a real estate agent or broker.

Independent Brokerage as a Business Model Defined

The definition of independent brokerage as a business model in the practice of real estate.

Gross Operating Income in Real Estate

Gross Operating Income is a real estate investment term. It is the annual gross income less credit and vacancy losses.

Gross Potential Income (GPI) in Real Estate.

Gross Potential Income in real estate investing refers to the total potential income of a property before any creditor vacancy losses.

Highest and Best Use in Real Estate

Highest and best use in real estate is the use of a property that would be it's must efficient or profitable use.

Improved Land

Land that has certain services to the property, such as electricity, telephone, water, sewer, etc.

Improvement Location Certificate in Real Estate

Too many real estate agents use the term "survey" when referring to the document generated in a real estate transaction, and showing the property lines and the structures on the property. It might be a survey, but in many cases, it's not a full survey and doesn't carry the same protections for the client that would come with a survey. It is generated for the mortgage and title companies for the purpose of identifying possible encroachments.

Independent Contractor

In Real Estate, most agents are independent contractors. They run their own business, scheduling, work hours, accounting, marketing, etc. This status is also treated specially by the IRS.

Insured Specific Access for Property Access

Property access can be dealt with in title insurance with the concept of insured specific access. By including a "together with" clause specifying the easements in the title policy language, the policy holder is assured coverage.


An intranet is an online application that allows a group, team or company to share documents, calendar scheduling, tasking, announcements, listing management, closing and settlement transaction management and more. Any member can access it from any internet computer in a secure environment.
Definition of economy of scale in apartment & multifamily investment.

Leasehold Estate in Real Estate

A leasehold estate in real estate is the tenant's right to possession of the property for the term of the lease. Rights and obligations are spelled out in the lease document.

Loan to Value (LTV) Ratio in Real Estate

The amount of the outstanding mortgage divided by the property's value is the LTV or loan to value ratio. The value is normally either the appraised value or the selling price, whichever is less. This is used in regular owner occupied mortages as well as properties purchased as real estate investments.

Material Fact in a Real Estate Transaction

A material fact in real estate is well-defined as a fact that, if known, might have caused a buyer or seller of real estate to make a different decision with regards to remaining in a contract or to the price paid or received.


Median is a mathematical result that indicates that one half of a group is higher and one half lower than the median. Median price of 101 sold homes would be that price which is lower than 50 of the prices and also higher than 50 of them.

Per Se Offenses in Antitrust Actions for the Real Estate Business

A per se offense in the dissussion of federal antitrust statutes means a violation that so clearly negatively impacts free trade that is is deemed illegal and the plaintiff doesn't need to prove that it restrained trade, only that it happened. Some per se offenses applied to the real estate business include fixing commission rates, setting coop split percentages, boycotting competitors or setting listing durations.

PPC-Pay Per Click

Pay per click advertising is the payment to a web site for a visitor that comes from their marketing to your web site. Generally, you do not pay for the placement of your ad on a page, but only pay when a visitor actually clicks on it and goes to your web site.

Periodic Tenancy or Estate for Period to Period in Real Estate

Periodic tenancy, or estate from period to period, is one type of leasehold estate in real estate. There is no defined ending date for this type of lease, but usually a defined period of tenancy, such as month-to-month. Proper notice of termination must be given according to the agreement.

Procuring Cause of a Sale in Real Estate

The legal definition of procuring cause would be "the cause that results in the attainment of a stated goal". In real estate it would take on the meaning of the real estate agent or broker who, by their actions in producing a buyer, brought about the sale of a property.

Rate Lock

Lenders will frequently give your buyer clients a set rate of interest that, until a certain date, is guaranteed not to rise. This is called an interest rate lock.


In real estate, license reciprocity is an agreement between states to issue licenses to applicants from other states with credit for their courses or license level to reduce requirements.

Referral Fees

Definition - Referral fees in real estate are fees charged by one agent or broker to another for a client referred. They are most common when a seller client is leaving the area and their agent refers them to an agent or broker in the new area to which they're moving. Generally this fee is a percentage of the final commission received by the agent who accepts the referral.

Return on Equity in Real Estate Investing

Return on equity is the percentage of return on the investment you have in a property. It can be calculated only in the first year based solely on the cash invested, or it can be calculated in subsequent years based on the value of the property.

Riparian Rights to Water Bounding Property

Riparian rights have to do with the rights of a property owner to water on or bounding their property.

RSS - Really Simple Syndication

RSS, or really simple syndiction is a method of easily issuing alerts or feeds of new items published in a web log or on a web site. New blog posts and web items would be sent out automatically to those using news feed readers and subscribing to that feed.

Real Estate Listings Syndication

Too many real estate agents and brokers only tout their own website exposure to their clients. Listing clients should be shown that their listing is syndicated to multiple busy web real estate portals.

Sales Comparison Approach in Real Estate Appraisal

The Sales Comparison Approach a property valuation method that uses the value of recently sold comparable properties to determine the subject property's value.

Search Engine

A search engine is a web site that collects and organizes content from all over the internet. Those wishing to locate something would enter a query about what they'd like to find and the engine provides links to content that matches what they want.

SEO-Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a group of techniques that are used to make the web site look better to search engines, thus getting higher ranking and more clicks and business.

Sphere of Influence in Real Estate

The real estate sphere of influence is that group of people that you know or do business with. Every contact is potential business, and increasing the group upon which you have some influence will increase your business over time.


Staging a home refers to getting it ready to sell by removing certain personal items, rearranging furnishings, bringing in furnishings for empty homes and making the home look good to potential buyers.

Straight-line Depreciation of Real Property

Straight-line depreciation is the depreciation of real property in equal amounts over the allowed life of the property for tax purposes.


Subagency refers to a relationship between the listing and the selling agents in a real estate transaction.


A townhouse is one of a row of homes sharing common walls. Differing from condominiums, townhouse ownership does include individual ownership of the land.

Unimproved Land

Unimproved land in real estate is defined as land that does not have certain basic required services necessary to utilize it for other purposes. These include electricity, telephone, street access, or water available.

Usufructuary Rights to Water in Real Estate

Usufructuary rights refers to the rights of owners of property bounding water to the use of that water. These rights are normally set by state law, assuming some rights for all property owners adjacent to the water body. Mostly common in the western parts of the country, riparian rights are more commonly used in the east.

Vacancy and Credit Loss in Real Estate Investing

Vacancy and credit loss is an estimated amount or percentage that will not be realized in rental income due to property vacancies and non-payment of rent.

Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is the responsibility of one for the acts of another. In the real estate business, this would be the case when a listing or buyer broker is an "agent" of the seller or buyer. The client can be held responsible for the actions of the broker agent if they have knowledge of an improper or negligent act.

Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Think of the duties an unlicensed assistant would have in your office and have those things done by someone at a distance over the internet. That's a real estate virtual assistant. Within your state's laws, they could do certain administrative, marketing, internet, listings and transaction management tasks.

Zoning of Real Estate

Zoning is a legal tool for municipalities to control the use of real estate. A zone is created, inside which the properties can only be utilized for certain functions. An example is R4, or Residential use with no more than four units per lot/acre, etc. In this zone there could not be commercial businesses, unless a variance to the zoning could be acquired.