Real Estate Glossary

CRAIG BLACKMON IS A REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY, BROKER, AND INNOVATOR IN SEATTLE.

Title

Title is really fancy legalese for “ownership.” So if you “hold title,” you’re the owner. Your ownership may be limited by the rights of someone else in the property. For example, if you finance the purchase of a car or a house, the...

Seller Disclosure Statement (Form 17)

Here in Washington, the Seller Disclosure Statement is required by law. Most sellers (with a few narrow exceptions) must complete and provide one to a buyer. Upon receipt, the buyer has three days to rescind the contract and walk away from the purchase (with a return...

Warranty Deed

A deed is the legal document that transfers ownership of real property.  A Warranty Deed contains promises from the seller to the buyer about the rights of ownership and possession of the property.   Contrast with Quit Claim Deed. Here in WA, the warranty deed is...

Title Insurance

A type of insurance that insures either the buyer’s right to own and possess the property, or the lender’s security interest in the property. Typically the seller will pay for the buyer’s title insurance policy, and the buyer will pay for the lender’s title insurance...

Title Contingency

A contractual term that allows a buyer to inspect and approve the Preliminary Title Report before the contract becomes binding. The buyer doesn’t have the right to simply rescind the contract, though. First, the seller is given an opportunity to fix the defect....

Selling Office Commission (or SOC)

The seller-paid commission offered to the buyer’s agent.  The commission is technically paid to the real estate firm where the agent works, and that firm then splits the commission in some fashion with the agent. That split can be a percentage, or simply paid via a...

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