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MA Real Estate

Transfer of Title/Deeds

Abstract of Title A summary of the history of ownership of a parcel of property including each consecutive conveyance, liens, other encumbrances and the current status of each.
Acceptance The agreement of one party to a set of terms offered by a second party.
Accretion The gradual increase to land on a shore or riverbank by natural forces.
Acknowledgment Process where an authorized officer (usually a Notary Public) witnesses a signature and attests that the signer has stated that the signing is his/her free act and deed - intended to protect against duress.
Adverse Possession The process of gaining title to real property by open continuous and notorious occupancy (for 20 years in Massachusetts); known as "squatters rights." Similar to establishing an easement by prescription.
Attorney in Fact One who is authroized to act for another. In real estate transactions this is done through a power of attorney. Does not need to be an attorney at law.
Attorney at Law A law professional who has taken and passed the bar exam.
Avulsion The loss of land due to a sudden or violent act of nature.
Bargain and Sale Deed Grantor affirms they hold title and grant whatever interest theyt have with no warranties. Often used by fiduciaries such as estate executors or officers of the court.
Base Line An imaginary line running east to west used by surveyors in the government (rectangular) survey method of property description.
Book Deeds and other documents relating to property transfer are recorded at the county registry of deeds in Massachusetts and become a specific page in a specific book in the record system. A deed has a specific book and page reference.
Certificate of Title Document issued by the land court under the "Torrens System" to verify the court decison and the property owner's title.
Chain of Title The history of ownership of each owner as grantor and grantee used in a title search for a parcel of real property.
Codicil A supplement or addition to a will.
Condemnation The administration or judicial procedure used when taking land by local, state or federal government for the public good called eminent domain.
Condemnee The property owner havng title taken by eminent domain
Condemnor The agency taking title to property by eminent domain.
Consideration Something given in exchange for something from another. Can be an article or a promise to do something. Usually money exchanged for property as ina deed or money in exchange for a promise to perform as in a purchase & sale agreement.
Contract for Deed / Installment Contract Contract for real estate where the buyer occupies the property during a period while making payments and receives a deed when all payments are complete. Also called a Land Contract.
Covenant Against Encumbrances Promises made by the grantor in a warranty deed that the property is free of all encumbrances not stated in the deed.
Covenant of Further Assurance Promises made by the grantor in a warranty deed that they will take any future action necessary to correct any title defects.
Covenant of Quiet Enjoyment Promises made by the grantor in a warranty deed that the grantee will hold the property free from the claims of third parties.
Covenant of Right to Convey Promises made by the grantor iin a warranty deed that they have the right to convey title
Covenant of Seisen Promises made by the grantor in a warranty deed that they are in possession and hold title.
Covenant of Warranty Promises made by the grantor in a warranty deed that they will defend against any claim against the title by a third party.
General Warranty Deed /Warranty Deed Provides the buyer or grantee with the highest form of protection by the seller or grantor. Has the greatest risk to the grantor and the greatest protection to the grantee.
Deed Written instrument that transfers ownership of real property from one party to another.
Deed in Trust Deed used when a grantor (trustor) transfers title to a trust controlled by a trustee for the benefit of a beneficiary.
Deed Restrictions Provisions in a deed that limts the future use of the property.
Deficiency The amount of a debt not covered when the security for a loan is not sufficient.
Delivery The legal act of transferring property. Must include the grantor's intent to transfer.
Devise Transfer of property by means of a will.
Devisee The person who receives the benefits of a will
Devisor Person whose property is distributed under the will.
Descent Acquisition of an estate by means of inheritance without a will.
Eminent Domain The right of the government (federal, state or municipal) to take title to private property for the common good; through a process known as condemnation.
Erosion The gradual decrease to land on a shore or riverbank by natural forces.
Escheat Process by which property reverts to the state when no will or heirs exist or when the property is adandoned.
Escrow Agent A neutral third party in a transaction who holds documents or monies until certain acts are completed by the individuals involved in a contract.
Et Al "And others"
Et Ux "And wife"
Excise Stamps Massachusetts tax stamps due when a deed is recorded at the registry of deeds at $2.28 per $500 of selling price.
Executor A male appointed by an individual to carry out the directions in their will.
Executor's Deed Deed used by the executor to an estate to sell property held by the estate
Executrix A female appointed by an individual to carry out the directions in their will.
Foreclosure The forced sale of a piece of real property by the lien holder when the terms of the contract have not been met.
Escrow Process where money and/or documents are held by a third party for two parties in a transaction.
Government Survey Method of land description using a grid of imaginary east-west lines (base lines) and north -south lines (meridians). This results in 6 mile by 6 mile townships that are further broken down into sections.
Grantee One who is receiving titel to real property from a grantor
Grantee/Grantor Index Public record books maintained at the country registry of deeds listing grantors and grantees of property transfers along with book and page number of teh associated real estate documents.
Grantor One who is giving title to real property to a grantee.
Habendum Clause That section of a deed beginning with "to have and to hold" which follows the granting clause and defines the extent of ownership the grantor is conveying such as fee simple or life estate.
Intestate Property owner dies without a will or with a will that is defective. Property changes ownership through the state laws of descent.
Testate Property owner who dies with a will.
Involuntary Alienation Transfer of ownership agains the owners will as in a foreclosure.
Judicial Deed Deed issued by a court appointed official.
Land Court Certificate Document issued by the land court as a result of a court decision under the "Torrens System"
Legal Description Description of property sufficient to identify what is being conveyed. There types are: Metes & Bounds; Lot and Block; Government Survey.
Lis Pendens Latin for "action pending". Recorded legal document that gives notice that legal action is in process that may affect the subject property.
Lot and Block Method of land description that refers to a specific lot within a grouping of lots on a block on a map or plat that has been recorded at the registry.
Metes & Bounds Method of land description that walks the perimeter of the property and describes the distances, compass points, and boundaries. Most common method in Massachusetts.
Page When used in refernece to recording deeds, refers to the number assigned to a deed or other document within specific book.
Plat A map of subdivided land showing individual lots and their boundaries and dimensions.
Point of Beginning (POB) The starting point in the Metes & Bounds method of property description.
Prescription Method of establishing an easement by open continous and nortorious use. In Massachusetts the time of usage is 20 years minimum.
Probate Court The part of the court system that deals with wills and inheritance.
Quitclaim Deed Deed where the grantor (seller) transfers whatever interest they have in real property without any warranties. Most common form of deed in Massachusetts, however the Mass Quitclaim deed does contain some limited warranties.
Range Line Imaginary line running north and south in the government survey method of land description parallel to major north-south lines called meridians.
Range Strip A strip of land between two north-south range lines measuring 6 miles wide and used in government survey method of land description.
Recording Process of entering into public record the deed an other documents associated with the transfer of real property.
Registered Land Property, that under the Torrents System, has been to land court, received a judgment and now has a certificate of title documenting the land court decision.
Registry of Deeds County agency that records, files and controls deeds, liens and othe rpaperwork relating to title of real property.
Residual That which is left over. In foreclosure, those monies in excess of outstanding debt and other costs.
Section In government survey method, east-west township lines meet north-south range lines in a 6 mile by 6 mile township further subdivided into 36 one mile parcels called sections.
Sheriff's Deed Deed used when property is old by a sheriff by court order.
Statute of Frauds State law that requires certain documents to be in writing to be enforcable.
Title Search Process of reviewing public records at the registry of deeds to determine the state of ownership of a piece of property.
Title Reference Filing system at the county registry of deeds that records a document such as a deed in a specific book and on a specific page in that book.
Torrens System A system of registering title to real property (used in Massachusetts and other states) to verify ownership or title. Results in a certificate of title.
Trustee's Deed Deed used to convey title from the trust by the trustee to a new grantee.
Vendee The buyer of real estate. The buyer under an installment contract.
Vendor The seller of real estate. The seller under an installment contract.
Voluntary Alienation Transfer of title with the owners consent as in trasfer by deed.
Warranty Deed Form of deed where the grantor makes cerain warrants or guarantees to the grantee. The grantor will defend the title against all claims includiing those against prior owners (not commonly found in Massachusetts).
Will A written instrument disposing of property after an individuals death.
Township A division of property under the government survey method of land description, 6 miles x 6 miles, 36 sections, each 1 mile x 1 mile.
Township Line An imaginary line running east-west in government survey method of land description. (base lines)
Township Strip Strip of land between tow east-west township lines measuring 6 miles and used in government survey method of land description.
Trustee The party in charge of administrating a trust after it has been established.
Trustor The grantor who conveys title to establish trust.
Created by: medct
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