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Real Estate Law General Terms and Examples

By Edited Sep 26, 2016 0 0

1) Codification-

Definition: The process of bringing together laws on a specific topic to present them orderly.

Example:  Judy is a realtor whom was confused about the laws for homebuyers. She decided to do research and collect all the different laws for homebuyers to put into a book.  She now uses this book to present laws for homebuyers to her customers.  Judy’s process of collecting the laws and putting them in an orderly fashion is called codification.


a)       Process- Judy is confused and decides to go do the work of researching and collecting the laws.

b)       Bring together- Judy does research and collects the different laws for homebuyers.

c)       Present laws in an orderly fashion- Judy puts all the laws she collected into a book.

2) Due Process-

Definition: Under the fifth and fourteenth amendment, everyone has the right to life, liberty and property unless proved otherwise by a fair hearing.

Example:  Judy is a real estate agent that was accused of misrepresenting the condition of a home she was selling.  She can legally have her license taken away from her because of this, but her license is considered her property.  Therefore she will keep her license unless she is proven guilty in a hearing.


a)     Everyone has a right to life, liberty and property- Judy will keep her license because it is considered her property.

b)    Fair hearing- She will have a hearing to determine the condition of the property and how she represented it.

c)     Proven guilty or innocent- The trial will determine is she is guilty or innocent and whether or not she gets to keep her license.

3) Equal Protection

Definition: Under the fourteenth amendment everyone will have the same laws and they will not discriminate among particular groups of people.

Example:  Kelley is a realtor that has three clients looking at the same house. One of the clients is African American, one is Hispanic, and one is Asian. Kelley must give each of her clients the same opportunity to purchase the house and may not discriminate any of them based on their race.


a)     Everyone has the same laws- The three clients of different races will all have the same opportunity at the house.

b)    Laws will not be applied only to specific groups- Kelley will not favor specific races because she believed other races are not qualified to own the home.

4) Just Compensation-

Definition: The government has the ability to take property from property owners, but the owners must be compensated.

Example:  Judy and Kyle own a house with 5 acres of land. The government decides they want to build a shopping center 4 acres away from their house. The government notifies Judy and Kyle that they will be taking 1 acre of their property and they will be giving them $100,000 for it.


a)     Government can take property away- Government decides they want to build a shopping center where Judy and Kyle own land.

b)    The government must give the owners compensation- The government decides to give Judy and Kyle $100,000 for an acre of their property.

c)     The government cannot take property away from owners for free- The government does not steal the property, but instead transfers ownership for a cost.

5) Unreasonable Searches and Seizures-

Definition: Under the fourth amendment, the government may not search a person or property unless they have the appropriate warrant.

Example: Judy is accused of selling property to clients and not claiming the money on her tax return. A client of hers suspects that the sale of his new house was not properly recorded. The client reports this suspicion to the government and they proceed to get a warrant and search Judy’s office finding her guilty.


a)     Government may not search unless they have just cause- the client complained the sale of his house was not properly recorded.

b)    A warrant must be obtained- The government got a warrant once they found out the client’s house was not properly recorded.

c)     There should be a reason to believe there is evidence to prove a crime was committed- The government found that Judy was not recording her sales so she did not have to pay taxes on her income.

6) Injunction-

Definition: An order that stops people from doing something specific.

Example: Paul lives in a high fire danger zone. He wants to plant new 25 new shrubs in front of his house to block his view of a power line. The neighbors hear of this and report his plan. The government orders him not to plant the 25 new shrubs because he would be adding to the fire danger in his area.


a)     Order- The government says he cannot plant the shrubs.

b)    Stops people- The owner cannot plant the shrubs for his own personal benefit.

c)     Gives government control to stop danger- The government stops Paul from planting the shrubs that will add to the fire danger.

7) Veto-

Definition: The act of denying a bill by either the president or the governor. 2/3’s vote in the house and the senate can override a veto.

Example: The government passed a bill that homeowners can purchase homes for 65% of their current value because of the suffering economy and the need to get homeownership up. The president denies this bill because he says this will bring home value’s down. The house and the senate vote but only get 1/3 vote. The bill is not passed.


a)     The president can deny a bill- The president denies the bill to keep home values up.

b)    A veto can be overridden by 2/3’s vote- The house and senate vote but they cannot overturn the veto because they only get a 1/3 vote.

8) Stare Decisis-

Definition: The law that states once a higher court has made a decision on a specific topic that all lower courts must follow suit when making decisions on the same topic.

Example: A high court decides that when a real estate agent does not file taxes that they must pay all the taxes owned plus a fee of $10,000 per $100,000 owed. A lower court has a case where the real estate agent did not file her taxes. The lower court must make the real estate agent pay the taxes plus the fee of $10,000 per $100,000 owed.


a)     Higher court makes a laws- The higher court decided to make all real estate agents pay the taxes they owe plus a fee.

b)    All lower courts must follow the laws made by higher courts- The lower court had to make the real estate agent in their case pay the taxes plus the fee.

c)     Lower courts cannot make up their own rules for judgments made by higher courts- The lower court followed the rules the higher court made, and did not make up a new law or rule.

9) Remand-

Definition: When a court orders a case be sent back to the court that originally tried it or to a different court. It literally means to send backward.

Example: The court took a case regarding Judy a real estate agent that is accused of misrepresenting a house. Judy claims she was not aware of the problems the house had. The court cannot make a decision and sends the case to another court.


a)     A ruling cannot be made on a case- Judy cannot be proven guilty for misrepresenting the house.

b)    The case is sent elsewhere- Judy’s case gets sent back to the original court that handled her case.

c)     Sent backward- Judy’s case goes back to where it started.

10) Exhibit-

Definition: A piece of evidence used in a case to help come up with a verdict.

Example: Judy was accused of misrepresenting a house. She claims she did not know about a plumbing problem. A witness brings in exhibit  “a” , which is a receipt to a bill from a plumber that Judy paid for.


a)     Evidence- The receipt from the plumber is presented in court.

b)    Helps come up with a verdict- The receipt shows Judy called a plumber.

c)     Helps prove a victim innocent or guilty- Judy knows there was a problem with the plumbing because she called a plumber so she lied.



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