Glossary (E)

Terms commonly used in the real estate and mortgage marketplace.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Earnest Money Deposit

The deposit to show that you’re committed to buying the home. The deposit usually will not be refunded to you after the seller accepts your offer, unless one of the sales contract contingencies is not fulfilled.

Easement

A right to the use of, or access to, land owned by another.

Employer-Assisted Housing

A program in which companies assist their employees in purchasing homes by providing assistance with the down payment, closing costs, or monthly payments.

Encroachment

The intrusion onto another’s property without right or permission.

Encumbrance

Any claim on a property, such as a lien, mortgage or easement.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

A federal law that requires lenders to make credit equally available without regard to the applicant’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, or marital status; the fact that all or part of the applicant’s income is derived from a public assistance program; or the fact that the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. It also requires various notices to consumers.

Equity

The value in your home above the total amount of the liens against your home. If you owe $100,000 on your house but it is worth $130,000, you have $30,000 of equity.

Escrow

An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.

Escrow Account

An account that a mortgage servicer establishes on behalf of a borrower to pay taxes, insurance premiums, or other charges when they are due. Sometimes referred to as an “impound” or “reserve” account.

Escrow Analysis

The accounting that a mortgage servicer performs to determine the appropriate balances for the escrow account, compute the borrower’s monthly escrow payments, and determine whether any shortages, surpluses or deficiencies exist in the account.

Eviction

The legal act of removing someone from real property.

Exclusive Agency Listing

A listing agreement under which a real estate broker (known as the listing broker) acts as an exclusive agent to sell the property for the property owner, but may be paid a reduced or no commission when the property is sold if, for example, the property owner rather than the listing broker finds the buyer. This kind of listing agreement can be used to provide the owner a limited range of real estate brokerage services rather than the traditional full range. As with other kinds of listing agreements, if a second real estate broker (known as a selling broker) finds the buyer for the property, then some commission will be paid to the selling broker.

Exclusive Right-to-Sell Listing

The traditional kind of listing agreement under which the property owner appoints a real estate broker (known as the listing broker) as exclusive agent to sell the property on the owner’s stated terms, and agrees to pay the listing broker a commission when the property is sold, regardless of whether the buyer is found by the broker, the owner or another broker. This is the kind of listing agreement that is commonly used by a listing broker to provide the traditional full range of real estate brokerage services. If a second real estate broker (known as a selling broker) finds the buyer for the property, then some commission will be paid to the selling broker.

Executor

A person named in a will and approved by a probate court to administer the deposition of an estate in accordance with the instructions of the will.