The voluntary surrender, relinquishment, disclaimer or cession of property claims or rights.

Absentee Owner

An owner who does not live or mange his or her own property but uses the services of a property manager.

Abstract of Title

A set of documents which record the ownership through time of a property.

Accelerated Depreciation

A method of cost write-off, which permits an earlier recovery of capital and a faster tax write-off of an asset, in which depreciation allowances are greater in the first few years of ownership than in subsequent years.

Acceleration Clause

A condition in a real estate financing instrument giving the lender the power to declare all sums owed to the lender immediately due and payable upon the happening of an event such as sale of the property or a delinquency in the repayment of the note.


One of the four essential elements of a valid contract whereby the offeree agrees or consents to the terms of an offer therefore establishing the “meeting of the minds.”

Accrual for Depreciation

In appraisal, a provision in the income approach in which a return of the investment is provided for out of the income by way of the capitalization rate.

Ad Valorem

A Latin phrase meaning “according to value” that is usually used in reference to real estate taxation.

Ad Valorem Tax

A tax based on the value of the thing being taxed.  Cities, counties and school districts raise most of their tax revenue form ad valorem taxes on real estate.