Real Estate Law Terminology For Homebuyers

There are unfamiliar terms in the real estate market today. As a homebuyer, you need to know the various real estate terminology when transacting with real estate brokers or companies, such as Brittany Corporation.

Without further adieu, here is a compiled law terminology on real estate law Philippines!

Real Estate Law Terminology


It is a written sworn statement under oath that can be used in any district or appellate court. An example is an affidavit of self-adjudication, a legal document where a person wants to claim property ownership over the estate.

Adjustable-rate Mortgage

An adjustable-rate mortgage is the opposite of a fixed-rate mortgage. It has a valuable interest rate that can be low or high depending on the current rates set by the Central Bank and the economic climate of the country.


This is the Filipino term for real property tax.


It is the gradual elimination of liability in regular payments over a period of time. An example of this is a payment of a mortgage loan.

Real Estate Law Terminology


It is an estimation of the value of the real estate. During a real estate transaction, the mortgage lender calls an appraiser to estimate the property’s value. This helps the lender determine if the property is valued at the amount of the loan the buyer offers.


Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution, where the parties resolve legal disputes with the help of a neutral third party conducted outside district courts.

Assessed Value

Assessed Value is the assessment level set by ordinances multiplied by the property’s fair market value. The assessed value is used to determine the tax you will need to pay


It is a person who is authorized to conduct any real estate transaction on behalf of another person.

Bankruptcy Court

A bankruptcy court is a court dealing with cases a person is unable to settle their debts, such as loan payments, mortgage payments, etc.

Debt to Income Ratio

The Debt to Income Ratio (DTI) is the percentage of your gross monthly earnings that will go to your monthly debt payments. DTI is used by private lenders to determine your borrowing risk.

Earnest Money

Earnest money is also known as a “good faith deposit.” It is a deposit money or initial funds that a buyer is asked to pay when the seller accepts the buyer’s offer.

Financial Institutions

Financial institutions are business entities that offer services for various real estate business transactions. These institutions include banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, and investment dealers.

Traditional Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A traditional fixed-rate mortgage provides that the interest in your mortgage loan payments shall remain the same until the contract matures or until the end of the period agreed upon.


Foreclosure is the legal process of enforcing a mortgage or other security interest when the property owner fails to pay mortgage lenders their monthly mortgage payment or the real property tax owed to the local government.

Foreclosed Properties

A foreclosed property is a distressed private property where the government or financial institutions have legal custody because the previous owner or the debtor cannot pay the money owed to the creditor.

Gross Monthly Income

Gross monthly income is an individual’s taxable income before deductions are made.

Homeowners Association

A homeowner’s association (HOA) is a private organization managing a community, such as luxury condominiums or luxury real estate, that requires payments to be a member. In the United States, it is called the Federal Housing Association.

Land Title

A land title, or a certificate of title, is a legal document or record proving a person’s legal ownership of a property, such as luxury real estate.

Real Estate Contract

A real estate contract, also known as a purchase agreement, is a draft document between the buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. The purchase agreement includes the obligations of the buyer and seller must fulfill before the title is transferred, such as paying closing costs or a down payment.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent or salesperson is an accredited person who acts on behalf of the real estate broker when making transactions in a house and lot for sale. They are paid by commission, salary, or other similar and useful considerations.

Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers are registered and licensed persons who act as an agent of a party in real estate transactions for a professional fee, commission, or other valuable consideration.

Recto Law

The Recto Law was enacted in 1933. It refers to a set of legal rules protecting the rights of the buyers of personal property paying in installments.


Rescission refers to the cancellation of the real estate contract.

Law Terminology on Court Proceedings

Is the Any Law Terminology on Court Proceedings That I Need to Know?

If there is a controversy on a house and lot for sale and you have been called to be present at the court, you need to comply with the court proceedings and other legal processes. Here are some law terminologies you need to know in a court proceeding:

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #1: Court Decision

A court decision is a judicial determination of the rights and obligations of each party based on the facts presented and the law applied. For instance, a court decision determines the sentence to be served by the defendant convicted of a crime or the award that they need to pay in a civil lawsuit.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #2: Court Reporter

A court reporter is called the guardian of the record because they are responsible for the whole legal process, such as the transcription of court records.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #3: Magistrate Judge

A magistrate judge is a judicial officer of a district court who is appointed by a majority of district judges in the district court.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #4: Trial Jury

In a federal government, there is a trial jury for trial court or federal courts. A jury trial determines whether the defendant is convicted of the crime charged. At the end of the trial, the judge provides the jury instructions about the applicable law in a civil or criminal case. There are two juries: federal criminal jury and federal civil jury.

Federal criminal juries consist of 12 people and their alternates. There must be a unanimous decision on the part of the jury trial before the defendant is found “guilty.” This means that the government attorney must prove to the convicted defendants are guilty beyond reasonable doubt under criminal law.

On the other hand, federal civil juries consist of at least six people. The jury must also come to a unanimous decision that the defendant is liable, and the proof needed is “preponderance of evidence” or “more true than not” under civil law.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #5: Criminal Defendant

A criminal defendant is a person accused of a crime in a criminal case.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #6: Plaintiff

A plaintiff is a person who files a civil lawsuit complaint.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #7: Plea

A plea is a defendant’s statement pleading “guilty” or “not guilty” in his criminal allegations before an open court.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #8: Subpoena Duces tecum

It is a type of subpoena issued by a district court or Supreme Court directing a person to produce or bring relevant documents to the court.

Court Proceedings Law Terminology #9: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the highest branch of the judiciary department of the country and is sometimes referred to as the “court of last resort.” It resolves court decisions from the appeals court by applying the correct law and jurisprudence.

Key Takeaways in Real Estate Transactions

Key Takeaways in Real Estate Transactions

Now that you got a good grasp of some real estate terminology, it’s time to find your next world-class living experience with Brittany Corporation. Our Brittany homes give you a breathtaking view and accessibility to all areas suitable for your lifestyle for a reasonable price!

Pay a visit to our Brittany Homes at Portofino Alabang, and see what a luxury house and lot in Metro Manila looks like. And if you want to know more about what Brittany living feels like, visit Brittany Corporation’s website, LinkedIn, and Youtube accounts.

Suggested Read: Why Are Lower Mortgage Interest Rates Being Offered

Suggested Read: Philippine Real Estate Law Guide