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Welcome to Real Estate

Real estate transactions are common yet complex events involving contracts, finance, property law, regulatory controls, and other considerations. In this course we’ll explore the components of a typical real estate sale.


Welcome to Real Estate Transactions! This course features five chapters with a total of twenty-four video lessons, with practice questions at the end of each lesson and each chapter.

Real estate transactions are common yet complex events involving contracts, finance, property law, government regulation, and other factors. This course approaches transactions in a logical sequence, beginning with the listing process, continuing with contracts, financing, and titles, and ending with the final transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer.

Throughout the course, we’ll discuss fundamental property-law concepts alongside more advanced topics. The material will benefit first-year students in traditional property courses, as well as upper-class students in standalone transactional courses.

Chapter one covers listings, brokerage, and sales contracts. We’ll learn about the roles played by brokers and multiple-listing services in bringing properties to market. We’ll discuss the formation and construction of sales contracts, and we’ll see what disclosures sellers must make about their properties. The two concluding lessons explain the risk of loss after the sales contract is signed, as well as the parties’ remedies for breach of the contract.

Chapter two introduces financing and security, with an emphasis on traditional mortgages. We’ll learn what mortgages are, how they secure debt, and what alternative security devices are available. We’ll learn about payment options and borrower protections, and we’ll explore the transfer, buying, and selling of mortgages and mortgaged property. We’ll conclude this chapter with some special aspects of commercial financing, including construction loans and long-term leases.

Chapter three continues our discussion of financing and security by exploring discharge, default, and foreclosure. We’ll learn what happens when a borrower pays off a mortgage loan. We’ll also discuss the consequences of a borrower’s failure to pay, and we’ll see some of the ways in which debtors and creditors can resolve defaults without resorting to foreclosure. Finally, we’ll discuss foreclosure procedures and the distribution of the proceeds after a foreclosure sale.

In chapter four, we’ll encounter title assurance systems, which enable buyers and other interested parties to understand who holds what interests in a tract of property. We’ll begin with the public recording process, including the mechanics of recording and the ways in which the public records preserve and disclose property interests. We’ll see how the recording laws protect innocent purchasers, and we’ll learn how to use a recording system to evaluate the title to a given tract. We’ll discuss some of the hidden risks of recording systems, as well as special problems that can affect title. And we’ll explore title insurance, a private-sector product that plays an important role in title protection.

Finally, chapter five addresses transfer by deed and the closing process. We’ll discuss the requirements for a valid deed, including form, content, and execution. We’ll cover delivery and acceptance, both of which are required to make a deed effective. We’ll learn about the six covenants of title and how they protect the buyer’s interest in the land. And we’ll review the logistics of the closing to see how the various strands of a transaction eventually come together to bring about the transfer of title.

If you watch all the lesson videos and work through all the practice questions, you'll come away with a greater understanding of the many dimensions of a real estate transaction. Let’s begin.