Buyer glossary

Absorption Rate

Ratio of the number of properties in an area that have been sold against the number available; used to show the volatility of a market

Accessory Building

A building separate from the main structure on a property; often used for a specific purpose such as a workshop or shed


The natural growth of a piece of land resulting from forces of nature


A supplement to the Contract of Purchase and Sale that contains additional information pertinent to the property


Any feature of a property that increases its value or desirability


A carefully documented opinion of value; most commonly derived using recent sales of comparable properties by a licensed professional appraiser

Appraised Value

The estimated fair market value of a property as developed by a licensed, certified appraiser following accepted appraisal principals


The natural rise in property value due to market forces

Arms Length Transaction

Any transaction in which the 2 parties are independent and have no obvious common interests

Assessed Value

The value of a property according to jurisdictional tax assessment

Bona Fide

Any genuine offer, made without intent to defraud or deceive

Bridge Financing

An interim loan made to facilitate the purchase of a new home before the buyer’s current residence sells and its equity is available to fund the new purchase


Is the real estate company under which the individual is licensed

Building Code

Regulations that ensure the safety and material compliance of new construction within a municipality


A 1 storey home-style, dating back to the early 20th century; often characterized by a low-pitched roof

Cape Cod Colonial

A home-style made popular in New England, often characterized by a steep roof with gables

Caveat Emptor

“Buyer beware”; the buyer is responsible for verifying any and all claims by the seller of the property

Certificate of Occupancy

Issued by an appropriate jurisdictional entity, typically for a new home, it certifies that a building complies with all building codes and is safe for use

Certificate of Title

A document designating the legal owner of a parcel of real estate

Chain of Title

The complete history of ownership of a piece of property


A moveable article of property, any article of tangible property other than land, buildings, and other things annexed to land

Clear Title

Ownership of property that is not encumbered by any counter-claim or lien


The sale of a property is consummated with the buyer completing all applicable documentation, including signing the mortgage obligation and paying all appropriate costs associated with the sale


A fee negotiated by an agent to compensate for the effort expended to sell or purchase a property


Additional value granted by a buyer or seller to entice another party to complete a deal


A legally binding agreement between 2 parties


Cash given along with an offer to purchase property


The natural decline in value of the improvement due to market forces or deterioration of the improvement

Distressed Property

A mortgaged property which has been foreclosed on

Double End

When you are the listing agent and also the selling agent as well. You are dealing with both the listing and selling side

Down Payment

An amount paid in cash for a property with the intent to mortgage the remaining amount due


The right of a non-owner of property to exert control over a portion or all of the property

Effective Age

The subjective, estimated age of a property based on its condition, rather than the actual time since it was built


A building or other improvement on one property which invades another property or restricts its usage


A claim against a property, such as mortgages, liens, easements, and rights of way

Exclusive Listing

An agreement between the owner of a property and a real estate agent giving the agent the exclusive right to sell the property


Frequently Asked Question

Feature Sheet

Information sheet for the home for sale showing all pertinent information that a buyer would need to know

Fee Simple

A complete unencumbered ownership right in a piece of property


Any piece of personal property which becomes permanently affixed to a piece of real property


For sale by owner

Gable Roof

A steeply angled, triangular roof

Gambrel Roof

A "barn-like” roof, where the upper portion of the roof is less steeply angled than the lower part


A classic English style house characterized by simple rectangular shape and multiple stories


The slope of land around a building


Any person who is given ownership of a piece of property


Any person who gives away ownership of a piece of property


Goods and services tax

Home Inspection

A complete examination of a building to determine its structural integrity and uncover any defects in materials or workmanship which may adversely affect the property or decrease its value

Homeowner’s Warranty

An insurance policy covering the repair of systems and appliances within the home for the coverage period

Latent Defects

Any defect in a piece of property which is not readily apparent but which has an impact of the value (e.g. dry rot)

Legal Description

The description of a piece of property identifying its specific location in terms established by the municipality or other jurisdiction in which the property resides


Is the managing broker, associate broker and/or representative of a Brokerage


Any claim against a piece of property resulting from a debt or other obligation

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

A computerized database of real estate listings and sales; it is operated by the Boards in conjunction with other real estate boards and The Canadian Real Estate Association

New England Colonial

A home-style dating from early American history typified by a 2 storey building with clapboard siding

Non-Conforming Use

The use of land for purposes contrary to the applicable municipal zoning specifications

PDS (Property Disclosure Statement)

A form that the seller completes disclosing general and structural details; the seller is responsible for the accuracy of the answers on the form as it constitutes a representation under any Contract of Purchase and Sale if so agreed, in writing, by the seller and the buyer


A plan or a chart of a piece of land which lays out existing or planned streets, lots, or other improvements


Less formal than pre-approval, is usually a written statement from a loan officer indicating an opinion that the borrower will be able to become approved for a mortgage loan

PTT (Property Transfer Tax)

A Provincial Government Tax which applies on all transfers of Real Estate and is payable on the completion date; the rate of tax is 1% on the first $200,000 of the purchase price and 2% on the balance of the purchase price over $200,000; payable at completion at the lawyer’s office and payable with a separate cheque to the Minister of Finance

Purchase Agreement

A written contract signed by the buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold


Home style typified by a single storey, low roof construction

Raw Land

Any land which has not been developed


Master database of MLS listings in Greater Vancouver

Right of First Refusal

An agreement giving a person the first opportunity to buy or lease a property before the owner offers it for sale to others


A specific map of a piece of property which includes the legal boundaries and any improvements or features of the land; also depict rights of way, easements, and encroachments

Sweat Equity

Method where the owner creates equity in a property by personally constructing improvements rather than paying to have them constructed


A document which serves as proof of ownership

Title Search

Research on a property’s title history to ensure no outstanding claims exist

Transfer of ownership

Any means by which the ownership of a property changes hands


Home-style typified by exposed stone, wood and brick construction;

Unencumbered Property

Any property which has no outstanding claims or liens against it

Useful Life

The span of time over which a property can be used or can provide benefits to its owner


Accessed through Realtorlink, where realtors can create and save a personalized form toolkit for buyers and sellers

Working With a Realtor

A form that is used to provide an explanation of the relationship between you and a realtor and of the collection, use and disclosure of personal information