Real Estate Dictionary – P

Partial payment A payment that is less than the agreed upon monthly payment on a loan
Partition The forced dividing of real estate among parties who were previously its co-owners
Patent A first in a series of documents by which the federal or state government transfers ownership of public lands to an individual
Pay-off amount The total balance on an existing loan or mortgage
Percolation test A testing of the soil on a property to evaluate if its absorption and drainage capacity will allow installation of a septic system
Personal property Property that does not qualify as real property
PITI Acronym for principal, interest, taxes and insurance, the four components of a monthly mortgage payment, which are taken into account when a lender is evaluating a borrower’s financial qualifications for a loan
Plat, or Plot A map showing a piece of land subdivided into lots, streets and common area, if applicable
P.M.I, or Private Mortgage Insurance Acronym for Private Mortgage Insurance, see below
Point A one-time fee charged by the lender for originating a loan, one point being equal to one percent of the amount of the mortgage
Power of attorney A written legal document authorizing a person to act as agent for another, to the extent outlined in the document
Power of Sale A provision in a will, mortgage or trust agreement authorizing the sale or transfer of land in accordance with the terms of the provision
Pre-Approval A commitment from a lender to loan a certain amount of money to a buyer at a designated interest rate and for a specified period of time, which gives the buyer an advantage in competing to purchase real estate or a home
Preforeclosure sale The sale of a property by a mortgagor for less than the amount owed to the lender of the mortgage for the property, thereby allowing the mortgagor to avoid foreclosure, and done with the approval of the lender
Prepayment penalty A fee that is charged by the lender to a borrower who pays off a loan earlier than the due date, thereby costing the lender interest and other income from charges
Pre-qualification The process by which the amount of loan a prospective buyer will be eligible to borrow is determined, based on his or her income and expenses, which can be used to demonstrate the buyer’s financial capability to the seller
Prime rate The most favorable interest rate that banks charge, usually to their preferred customers
Principal The amount borrowed, not including interest or other charges
Principal balance The portion of the original amount borrowed that is due on a loan or mortgage at any point in time
Private mortgage insurance, or P.M.I. A policy that insures that the lender will recover a specific percentage of the loan amount from the insurance company in the event that the borrower defaults; is not backed by any government agency; is usually required when a down payment of less than 20% is put on real estate or a home purchased
Probate The court proceedings to prove that a will is valid
Procuring cause The action or person who brings about the desired result; e.g., under an open listing, the broker who brings in the buyer who actually purchases the property
Promissory note A written promise to pay a specified amount of money in a designated period of time, which is also transferable to a third party
Prorate To divide the proportionate share of existing expenses on a piece of property between the seller and buyer, e.g., taxes owed at the time of a transfer of title from the seller to the buyer
PUD (Planned Unit Development) A multi-unit property or subdivision that includes common property that is owned and maintained by a homeowners’ association, for the use of the individual owners
Purchase and sale agreement A written contract signed by the buyer and seller that states the conditions under which a property will be transferred or sold
Purchase money mortgage An agreement whereby financing provided by the seller is included in the purchase price