Real Estate Dictionary – D

Deed A written document that conveys the ownership of real estate from one person or party to another
Deed-in-lieu, or Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure A deed given by a mortgagor to the mortgagee when the mortgage is in default, to avoid foreclosure
Deed of trust A written document that grants a trustee, in the event of foreclosure, the full power to sell, mortgage and subdivide the property in question
Deed Restriction A clause in a Deed that limits the uses of the property (e.g., types or quantities of structures permitted)
Default The failure to meet the legal obligations in a contract; in real estate, failure to pay mortgage payments as scheduled or to comply with other stipulations of the mortgage
Deferred interest Interest on a mortgage which is delayed because the monthly payment of the mortgage is not large enough to cover the entire principal and interest due, and therefore is added to the loan balance See “negative amortization”
Deficiency judgment A claim made by the holder of a note against the maker, in the event that a foreclosure sale does not bring in enough proceeds to fully cover the note and the costs of sale, for the difference
Delivery The final, unconditional and absolute transfer of a Deed from seller to buyer, such that the seller cannot revoke the transfer of ownership; the Deed itself does not pass title until the seller delivers it to the buyer
Depreciation A decline in the value of property, due to any cause; the opposite of appreciation Also an expense deduction taken for tax purposes over the period of owning income property
Devise To dispose or convey ownership of real property via a will
Disclosure A statement of facts made by the buyer about the condition of a property being sold and its surrounding area, required by law in most US states
Discount point A unit of measurement used for loan charges, with one point equaling 1 percent of the value of the loan
Dower The rights of a spouse to the property of their deceased spouse
Down payment The amount of the purchase price of a property paid in cash (i.e. not financed with a mortgage) that is required to secure the property; typically 20%
Dual agency Representation of opposing parties in a transaction (e.g. when a realtor is the agent for both buyer and seller); requires consent of both parties to be allowed, and is illegal in some US states
Due-on-sale clause A provision in a mortgage allowing the lender to demand payment of the entire balance of the note if the mortgagor sells or otherwise transfers the property