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Our glossary of industry terms is one of the most visited sections of our site. We work continually to keep it current and are always adding new terms. In addition, if you ever can't find an industry word you are looking for, let us know. We'll research it and add it for you.

  • Earnest money

    The monetary advance of part of the purchase price to indicate the intention and ability of the buyer to carry out the contract.

  • Easement

    A right created by grant, reservation, agreement, prescription or necessary implication to use someone else's property.

  • Economic feasibility

    The feasibility of a building or project in terms of costs and revenue, with excess revenue establishing the degree of viability.

  • Economic rent

    The market rental value of a property at a given point in time.

  • Effective date

    The date on which a registration statement becomes effective and the sale of securities can commence.

  • Effective gross income (EGI)

    The total income from a property generated by rents and other sources, less a vacancy factor estimated to be appropriate for the property. EGI is expressed as collected income before expenses and debt service.

  • Effective gross rent (EGR)

    The net rent generated, after adjusting for tenant improvements and other capital costs, lease commissions and other sales expenses.

  • Effective rent

    The actual rental rate to be achieved by the landlord after deducting the value of concessions from the base rental rate paid by a tenant, usually expressed as an average rate over the term of the lease.

  • Electronic Authentication

    Any of several methods used to provide proof that a particular document received electronically is genuine, has arrived unaltered and came from the source indicated.

  • Eminent domain

    A power to acquire by condemnation private property for public use in return for just compensation.

  • Encroachment

    The intrusion of a structure that extends, without permission, over a property line, easement boundary or building setback line.

  • Encumbrance

    A right to, or interest in, real property held by someone other than the owner that does not prevent the transfer of fee title.

  • Endowment

    A fund that is made up of gifts and bequests, which are subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact and invested to create a source of income for an organization. Institutions of higher education, for example, have endowments to fund research, scholarships and other activities.

  • Entity Investing

    An investment in an entity, such as a company or partnership, that controls an investment rather than directly in the underlying assets. An investment entity is an entity that does both of the following: Pools funds from an investor or investors and provides the investors with professional investment management services; and commits to its investors that its business purpose and only substantive activities are investing the funds for returns from capital appreciation, investment income, or both. An investment entity and its affiliates do not obtain or have the objective of obtaining returns or benefits from their investments that are either of the following: Other than capital appreciation and investment income; and not available to other noninvestors or are not normally attributable to ownership interests.

  • Environmental impact statement

    Documents required by federal and state laws to accompany proposals for major projects and programs that will likely have an impact on the surrounding environment.

  • Equity

    The residual value of a property beyond mortgage or liability.

  • ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act)

    Legislation passed in 1974 and administered by the Department of Labor that controls the investment activities primarily of corporate and union pension plans. More public pension funds are adopting ERISA-like standards.

  • Escalation clause

    A clause in a lease that provides for the rent to be increased to reflect changes in expenses paid by the landlord such as real estate taxes and operating costs.

  • Escrow agreement

    A written agreement made between an escrow agent and the parties to a contract setting forth the basic obligations of the parties, describing the money (or other things of value) to be deposited in escrow, and instructing the escrow agent concerning the disposition of the monies deposited.

  • Estoppel certificate

    A signed statement certifying that certain statements of fact are correct as of the date of the statement and can be relied upon by a third party, including a prospective lender or purchaser.

  • Exclusive agency listing

    A written agreement between a real estate broker and a property owner in which the owner promises to pay a fee or commission to the broker if specified real property is leased during the listing period.

  • Exit strategy

    Strategy available to investors when they desire to liquidate all or part of their investment.