As recorded documents mostly pertain to real estate, here are some real estate terms you should become familiar with when searching for a document.


Dictionary of some Basic Real Estate Terms

From Barron’s Real Estate Guide, Dictionary of Real Estate Terms Third Edition


A written document, properly signed and delivered, that conveys title to real property.

Some examples…

General Warranty Deed – a deed in which the grantor agrees to protect the grantee against any other claim to title of the property and provides other promises

Quitclaim Deed – a deed that conveys only the grantor rights or interest in real estate, without stating the nature of the rights and with no warranties of ownership.

Special Warranty Deed – a deed in which the grantor limits the title warranty given to the grantee to anyone claiming by, from, through or under him, the grantor. The grantor does not warrant against title defects arising from conditions that existed before he owned the property.


Federal Tax Lien
A debt attached against property for unpaid federal taxes.


Anyone who gives a deed


The party to whom the title to real property is conveyed; the buyer


A written instrument that creates a lien upon real estate as security for the payment of a specific debt.


One who holds a lien on property or title to property, as security for a debt.


One who pledges property as security for a loan.


A written instrument that acknowledges a debt and promises to pay.


Personal Property
All property that is not realty. Property that is movable, not fixed to land. Aka chattel


The act of entering in a book of public records instruments affecting the title to real property. Recording in this manner gives notice to the world of facts recorded.


Real Estate
1. In law, land and everything more or less attached to it. Ownership below to the center of the earth and above to the heavens. 2. In business, the activities concerned with ownership and use transfers of the physical property.


Evidence that the owner of land is in lawful possession thereof; evidence of ownership


Title Company
One in the business of examining title to real estate and/or issuing title insurance


Title Insurance
An insurance policy that protects the holder from loss sustained by defects in the title.


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