Real Estate Terminology

Buying a home is a huge investment- Whether it is a condo or the home of your dreams, there are some terminology you should know before you start looking:


Process for estimating the market value of a property.


Certified professional who carries out an appraisal.

Certificate of status:

Also called an Estoppel certificate, it outlines a condominium corporation's financial and legal state. Fees may vary and may be capped by law (does not apply in Quebec).


If, for example, your original offer to the vendor is not accepted, the vendor may counteroffer. This means that the vendor has amended something from your original offer, such as the price or closing date. As this new offer varies the terms of the original offer, this rejects the original offer. If a counteroffer is presented, the individual has a specified amount of time to accept or reject.

Credit history or Credit Report:

The main report a lender uses to determine your credit worthiness. It includes information about your ability to handle your debt obligations and your current outstanding obligations.

Curb appeal:

How attractive the home looks from the street. A home with good curb appeal will have attractive landscaping and a well-maintained exterior.


Money placed in trust by the purchaser when an Offer to Purchase is made. The sum is held by the real estate representative or lawyer/notary until the sale is closed and then it is paid to the vendor.

Down payment:
The portion of the home price that is not financed by the mortgage loan. The buyer must pay the down payment from his/her own funds or other eligible sources before securing a mortgage.

Mortgage approval:
Written notification from the mortgage lender to the borrower that approves the advancement of a specified amount of mortgage funds under specified conditions.

Mortgage broker: The job of the mortgage broker is to find you a lender with the terms and rates that will best suit you.

Property taxes:
Taxes charged by the municipality where the home is located, usually based on the value of the home. In some cases the lender will collect a monthly amount as part of the mortgage payment to cover your property taxes, which is then paid by the lender to the municipality on your behalf.

**Terms and Definitions taken from







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Graham Siu

Graham Siu

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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