Kars4Kids Real Estate Glossary

Common real estate terms explained.


Short for Assessor Parcel Number, it is a unique number used to identify a property.
A professional opinion of a property’s current worth. When donating a property, the IRS requires an appraisal by a third party (the appraiser.)
A professional who conduct an appraisal of a property.
An increase in property value.
Assessed value
The value of a property according to a public tax assessor for property tax purposes.


Bargain Sale
The sale of a property for less than its fair market value to a charity. The difference between the fair market value and the sale price is then considered a donation. This allows the donor to recoup funds and receive a tax deduction for the donated portion, a win-win scenario for the donor and the charity.
An individual who is licensed by his state to arrange the sale or transfer of real property for compensation.
Broker Price Opinion (BPO)
A report performed by a real estate professional to determine the value of a property.


Capital Gains Tax
A tax levied on the difference between the sale price of a property and its original purchase price. If a property has appreciated highly, the capital gains tax can be quite significant. You can eliminate this tax by donating your property to Kars4kids.
Clear Title
A title that is free of any liens, defects, or other legal encumbrances.
The final stage of a real estate transaction. During closing, the property is transferred from donor to Kars4kids.
Closing Costs
Costs that a buyer (and/or seller) must pay to effect the closing of a property. Costs typically include title search, insurance, deed recording, survey, attorney fees, and taxes. All closing costs are paid by Kars4kids.
Commercial Property
Property zoned for commercial use, such as retail or industrial applications, which can be donated for substantial tax benefits.
Amount due to a broker for services performed. Kars4kids offers full commission on donated properties.
A legally binding agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.
The transfer of title from one person to another.


A legal document transferring the ownership or title of a property from one party to another.
For real estate purposes, a default is a failure to pay on a financial obligation, typically a mortgage.
Outstanding past-due taxes or mortgage payments.
A decline in property value.


Earnest Money
A deposit a buyer makes to show he is committed to buying a property.
The right to use, or have access to, another person’s property.
Any claim, lien, or easement on a property.
The deposit of document and funds with a third party (e.g., Title Company) with instructions for delivery upon closing.
All assets and properties owned by a particular person.
A person appointed in a will to administer the requests of the will.


Fair Market Value
The price at which the property would be sold in the current market. For donation purposes, the fair market value of your property is determined by the appraisal of a qualified third-party appraiser.
A legal action that occurs when an individual fails to make payments on a mortgaged property. The property is then seized and sold at a public auction.


The individual conveying a property to another person.
The individual to whom a property is conveyed.
Homeowners Association (HOA)
An organization compromising of homeowners residing in a subdivision responsible for managing the subdivision and enforcing its covenants and restrictions.


HUD Form
A final listing of closing costs, itemizing the buyers and sellers costs separately.


Investment Property
A property that is not the owner’s primary residence but is instead used to generate income.


Judgment Lien
A court ruling that records a lien against a property.


The owner of a leased property.
A charge against a property that must be paid off for a property to be sold or donated.
A property that is for sale. It can also refer to a contract between a seller and a broker.
Listing Agent
A real estate agent that represent the seller of the property


Market Value
The current value of a property based on what a buyer would pay for it.
A loan that an individual uses to finance a home, secured by the collateral of the home.


A piece of land.
Parcel Number
Sometimes referred to as ‘PIN’, it is a unique number used to identify a property. You can find your property’s parcel number on the deed or a tax bill.
Power Of Attorney
A legal document authorizing an individual to act on another’s behalf.
A legal process that administrates a deceased person’s will and settles his debts.
Property Tax
Taxes based on a property’s assessed value that are paid by a property owner to the county.


Quitclaim Deed
A non-warranty deed used to transfer property from one to another.


The filing of a legal document (e.g., a deed) in public records.


Special Warranty Deed
A deed that only warrants against any debt or issues accrued during the seller’s ownership of the property.
A parcel divided into multiple lots for real estate development.
Someone who occupies a vacant property illegally.
The measurement of a parcel by a licensed surveyor. A survey shows the precise dimensions and legal boundaries of a property.


Tax Deduction
A deduction that lowers an individual’s tax liability by lowering his taxable income. As a general rule, you can claim the fair market value of the donated property. Consult your tax advisor for details.
Tax Sale
Occurs when the government sells a property because the owner has failed to pay property taxes.
One who leases a property from a homeowner.
Typically a vacation property, owned by multiple people to be used in their allotted period of time. Currently, Kars4kids does not accept timeshares.
A document proving legal ownership of a property.
Title Insurance
Insurance that protects property owners or lenders against legal issues with the title.
Title Search
An inspection of public records to determine if the title is clear of liens and claims and ensure the legal ownership of the property.
Transfer Tax
A state or local tax that is collected at closing for the transfer of property ownership.
An arrangement where one, called the Trustee, holds a property on behalf of a beneficiary.
One who holds a property in a trust on behalf of another.
One who conveys his property to a trustee.


Warranty Deed
A deed that warrants against any outstanding liens, mortgages or other encumbrances.
A legal document that directs the distribution of a decedent’s property.


Local laws that dictate how a property can be used in certain areas.


An IRS tax form used by a donee organization to report the sale of a donated property within three years of receipt.
An IRS tax form used by an individual who wishes to claim a deduction of a property.
*These definitions are for general purposes only and should not be used for legal purposes. Please consult with your local title company, real estate agent or lender to see if these terms apply in your area.