National Real Estate Flash Cards

Our Flash Cards will help you prepare to ace the New York State Real Estate Exam. Study a variety of 100 key questions and answers, and quickly memorize terms, phrases, and definitions by simply clicking on a flash card to retrieve the answers to state specific questions.


An object that has been attached to land so as to become real estate.


Any form of land development, such as buildings, roads, fences, and pipelines.


Imaginary lines running north and south, used as references in mapping land.

Metes and Bounds

A detailed method of land description that identifies a parcel by specifying its shape and boundaries.


An iron pipe, stone, tree, or other fixed point used in making a survey.

Personal Property

A right or interest in things of a temporary or movable nature; anything not classified as real property.

Real Estate

Land and improvements in a physical sense, as well as the rights to own or use them.

Recorded Plat

A subdivision map filed in the county recorder’s office that shows the location and boundaries of individual parcels of land.

Riparian Right

The right of a landowner whose land borders a river or stream to use and enjoy that water.


An article of personal property.


The right or privilege one party has to use land be longing to another for a special purpose not inconsistent with the owner’s use of the land.

Eminent Domain

The right of government to take privately held land for public use, provided fair compensation is paid.


The unauthorized intrusion of a building or other improvement onto another person’s land.


Any impediment to a clear title, such as a lien, lease, or easement.


One’s legal interest or rights in land.

Fee Simple

The largest, most complete bundle of rights one can hold in land; land ownership.


A hold or claim one person has on the property of another to secure payment of a debt or other obligation.


The right to or ownership of something; also the evidence of ownership, such as a deed or bill of sale.

Community Property

Spouses are treated as equal partners with each owning one-half interest.

Concurrent Ownership

Owner ship by two or more persons at the same time.

Estate in Severalty

Owned by one person; sole ownership.

Joint Tenancy

A form of property co-ownership that features the right of survivorship.

Right of Survivorship

A feature of joint tenancy whereby the surviving joint tenants automatically acquire all the rights, title, and interest of the deceased joint tenant.

Tenancy by the Entirety

A form of joint ownership reserved for married persons; right of survivorship exists and neither spouse has a disposable interest during the lifetime of the other.

Tenants in Common

Shared ownership of a single property among two or more persons; interests need not be equal and no right of survivorship exists.

Undivided Interest

Ownership by two or more persons that gives each the right to use the entire property.

Adverse Possession

Acquisition of land through prolonged and unauthorized occupation.

Bargain and Sale Deed

A deed that contains no covenants but does imply that the grantor owns the property being conveyed.

Cloud on the Title

Any claim, lien, or encumbrance that impairs title to property Color of title: some plausible but not completely clear-cut indication of ownership rights.


Anything of value given to induce another to enter into a contract.


A written agreement or promise.


A written document that, when properly executed and delivered, conveys title to land.


The person named in a deed who acquires ownership.

Quitclaim Deed

A legal instrument used to convey whatever title the grantor has; it contains no covenants, warranties, or implication of the grantor’s ownership.

Special Warranty Deed

Grantor warrants title only against defects occurring during the grantor’s ownership.


An assurance or guarantee that something is true as stated.

Abstract of Title

A summary of all recorded documents affecting title to a given parcel of land.


A formal declaration by a person signing a document that he or she, in fact, did sign the document.

Chain of Title

The linkage of property ownership that connects the present owner to the original source of title.

Constructive Notice

Notice given by the public records and by visible possession, coupled with the legal presumption that all persons are thereby notified.

Marketable Title

Title that is free from reasonable doubt as to who the owner is.

Public Recorder's Office

A government-operated facility wherein documents are entered in the public records.

Quiet Title Suit

Court-ordered hearings held to determine land ownership.

Title Insurance

An insurance policy against defects in title not listed in the title report or abstract.

Torrens System

A state-sponsored method of registering land titles.

Breach of Contract

Failure,without legal excuse, to perform as required by a contract.

Competent Party

Person considered legally capable of entering into a binding contract.


An act or promise given in exchange for something.


A legally enforceable agreement to do (or not to do) a particular thing.


The application of force to obtain an agreement.

Liquidated Damages

An amount of money specified in a contract as compensation to be paid if the contract is not satisfactorily completed.

Power of Attorney

A document by which one person authorizes another to act on his or her behalf.

Specific Performance

Contract performance according to the precise terms agreed upon.

Void Contract

A contract that has no binding effect on the parties who made it.

Voidable Contract

A contract that is able to be voided by one of its parties.


A short purchase contract used to secure a real estate transaction until a more formal contract can be signed.


An offer made in response to an offer.


Failure to perform a legal duty, such as failure to carry out the terms of a contract.

Earnest Money Deposit

Money that accompanies an offer to purchase as evidence of good faith.

Equitable Title

The right to demand that title be conveyed upon payment of the purchase price.

Installment Contract

A method of selling and financing property whereby the seller retains title but the buyer takes possession while making the payments.


Allows the tenant to buy the property at preset price and terms for a given period of time.

Right of First Refusal

The right to match or better an offer before the property is sold to someone else.

Acceleration Clause

Allows the lender to demand immediate payment of entire loan if the borrower defaults.

Deficiency Judgment

A judgment against a borrower if the foreclosure sale does not bring enough to pay the balance owed.

First Mortgage

The mortgage loan with highest priority for repayment in the event of foreclosure.


The procedure by which a person’s property can be taken and sold to satisfy an unpaid debt.

Junior Mortgage

Any mortgage on a property that is subordinate to the first mortgage in priority.


The party receiving a mortgage; the lender.


The party giving a mortgage; the borrower.

Power of Sale

Allows a mortgagee to conduct a foreclosure sale without first going to court.

Promissory Note

A written promise to repay a debt.

Assignment of Rents

Establishes the lender’s right to take possession and collect rents in the event of loan default.


One for whose benefit a trust is created; the lender in a deed of trust arrangement.

Deed of Trust

A document that conveys legal title to a neutral third party (a trustee) as security for a debt.

Naked Title

Title that lacks the rights and privileges usually associated with ownership.

Reconveyance or Release Deed

A document used to reconvey title from the trustee back to the property owner once the debt has been paid.


One who holds property in trust for another.


One who creates a trust; the borrower in a deed of trust arrangement.

Amortized Loan

A loan requiring periodic payments that include both interest and partial repayment of principal.

Balloon Loan

Any loan in which the final payment is larger than the preceding payments.

Conventional Loans

Real estate loans that are not insured by the FHA or guaranteed by the VA.


The market value of a property less the debt against it.


Federal Housing Administration

Impound or Reserve Account

An account into which the lender places monthly tax and insurance payments.

Loan Origination Fee

The expenses a lender incurs in processing a mortgage loan.

Loan-to-value Ratio

A percentage reflecting what a lender will lend divided by the sale price or market value of the property, whichever is less.


The end of the life of a loan.

PITI Payment

A loan payment that combines principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.


Private mortgage insurance; a private mortgage insurance source to insure lenders against foreclosure loss.


One percent of the loan amount.


The balance owing on a loan.


Up-front mortgage insurance premium a one-time charge by the FHA for insuring a loan.


The annual percentage rate as calculated under the federal Truth-in-Lending Act by combining the interest rate with other costs of the loan.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

Federal law giving an individual the right to inspect his or her file with the credit bureau and correct any errors.

Finance Charge

The total amount the credit will cost over the life of the loan.

Liquid Asset

Asset that is in cash or is readily convertible to cash.


A lender’s refusal to make loans in certain neighborhoods.

Regulation Z

Federal regulations that implement the enforcement of the Truth-in-Lending Act.

Truth-in-Lending Act

A federal law that requires certain disclosures when extending or advertising credit.

Real Estate Flash Cards