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Real Estate Glossary and Terms

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Realty Terms beginning with S

Second Mortgage
A mortgage registered against real property which is already encumbered with one mortgage. Date and time of registration determines which is first and which is second.

Self-Employed Person
An individual who owns and operates a trade or business rather than working as an employee for company. 1. You are self-employed if you are a sole proprietor or a partner working in a business. 2. You can be an employee and self-employed at the same time if you have an independent business outside of your regular employee hours. To qualify for many business tax exclusions and deductions, the business must make a profit in three of five years. In most cases, to qualify you must take and average of the last two - three years tax assessments.Click here for additional information.

Seller Broker
An individual who earns a commission (paid by the seller of a property) in exchange for finding a buyer and assisting in the negotiation for the real estate transaction.

Seller Carryback or Transfer Back
A form of financing where the property seller accepts a down payment and agrees to accept payments until the property is paid for in full.

Seller's Market
When the real estate market favors the seller. This type of market usually means the seller is expected to sell quickly and for market or above market value.

Square Footage
The area within a building or structure that is calculated by measuring each rooms by length and width and adding the total.

Starter Home
A relatively small and inexpensive property that is typically bought by first time home buyers. This type of property is usually traded up for a more expensive property once the home owner has gained equity in the property.

Step-rate Mortgage
A fixed-rate mortgage loan where payments are lower at the beginning of the loan, typically for two years, but then increase after the specified time period.