Real estate is a legal term (in some jurisdictions, notably in the USA, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia) that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings, specifically property that is stationary, or fixed in location. Real estate law is the body of regulations and legal codes which pertain to such matters under a particular jurisdiction. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property (also sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (also sometimes called chattel or personality under chattel law or personal property law).
However, in some situations the term “real estate” refers to the land and fixtures together, as distinguished from “real property,” referring to ownership rights of the land itself.
The terms real estate and real property are used primarily in common law, while civil law jurisdictions refer instead to immovable property.
2.2 Real Estate in Business Sector
With the development of private property ownership, real estate has become a major area of business. Purchasing real estate requires a significant investment, and each parcel of land has unique characteristics, so the real estate industry has evolved into several distinct fields. Specialists are often called on to valuate real estate and facilitate transactions. Some kinds of real estate businesses include:
- Appraisal: Professional valuation services
- Brokerages: A fee charged by the mediator who facilitates a real estate transaction between the two parties.
- Development: Improving land for use by adding or replacing buildings
- Property management: Managing a property for its owner(s)
- Real estate marketing: Managing the sales side of the property business
- Real estate investing: Managing the investment of real estate
- Relocation services: Relocating people or business to a different country
- Corporate Real Estate: Managing the real estate held by a corporation to support its core business—unlike managing the real estate held by an investor to generate income
Within each field, a business may specialize in a particular type of real estate, such as residential, commercial, or industrial property. In addition, almost all construction business effectively has a connection to real estate.