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Acompte / Advance / Deposit

A sum of money given in advance of a larger amount being expected in the future. Often called in real estate as an “earnest money deposit”.

Acte de vente / Deed / Purchase transaction

Written contract signed by the buyer and the seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold.

Apport personnel / down payment

The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.

Avenant / Amendment

Document attached to a contract meant to change either to alter, add or to correct part of an agreement without changing its principal idea or essence.



Money earned for the work done by selling a property. The commissions are paid out of the charges by the seller or the buyer in the purchase transaction


Droit de preemption, de preference / Priority

The order, usually established by the date and time of recording of written documents, in which rights in respect to the same subject matter are given legal precedence or preference.


Evaluation immobilière / Appraisal

A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby.


Hypothèque / mortgage

A legal document used to secure the performance of an obligation. The term mortgage, which is derived from the French words mort meaning "dead" and gage meaning "pledge," is appropriate in that the pledge is extinguished only after the debt is paid. In the usual real estate transaction, the buyer seeks to borrow money to pay the seller the difference between the down payment and the purchase price. When the lender (mortgagee) lends the money, the buyer/borrower (mortgagor) is required to sign a promissory note for the amount borrowed and to execute a mortgage to secure the debt. The purpose of the mortgage note is to create a personal liability for payment on the part of the mortgagor; the purpose of the mortgage is to create a lien on the mortgaged property as security for the debt.


Impôt foncier / Landed property tax

Annual tax on land, whether built up or barren, for use by the local authorities.


Jouissance d’un bien / Enjoyment

The exercice of the legal right to enjoy the benefits of owning property.


Mitoyenneté / Joint ownership

This term refers to anything that lies between two contiguous properties belonging to two different owners a fence, wall, hedge or ditch.


Notaire / Notary public

A government-appointed officer having the authority to take the acknowledgments of persons executing or signing documents and a party who signs the certificate and affixes an official seal.


Patrimoine immobilier / Real estate asset

The ownership interest of an individual in real property.

Permis de construction / Building permit:

Authorization by a local government for the erection, alteration or remodeling of improvements within this jurisdiction.


Residence principale / Principal residence

The place one lives in most of the time. May be a single-family house, condominium, trailer, or houseboat.


Servitudes / Easement

A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.


Usufruit / Usufruct

The right to use property-or income from property-that is owned by another.