Real estate or immovable property is a legal term (in some jurisdictions) that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings. Real estate (immovable property) is often considered synonymous with real property (also sometimes called realty), in contrast with personal property (also sometimes called chattel or personality).In British usage, however, “real property”, often shortened to just “property”, refers rather to land and fixtures as such while the term “real estate” is used mostly in the context of probate law, and means all interests in land held by a deceased person at death excluding interests in money arising under a trust for sale of or charged on land.In French, Italian and Spanish, real estate is called “immovables” (immobilier in French, immobili in Italian and inmueble in Spanish); other property is called “movables” (mobilier and mueble).With the development of private property ownership, real estate has become a major area of business. Within each field, a business may specialize in a particular type of real estate. Specialists are often called on to valuate real estate and facilitate transactions. Within each field, a business may specialize in a particular type of real estate, such as residential, commercial, or industrial property.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.In addition, almost all construction business effectively has a connection to real estate. Banks are willing to make such loans at favorable rates in large part because, if the borrower does not make payments, the lender can foreclose by filing a court action that lets them take back the property and sell it to get their money back.In recent years, many economists have recognized that the lack of effective real estate laws can be a significant barrier to investment in many developing countries. Real estate in Mexico and Central America is not the same in many ways as it is in the United States. Some similarities are that there are legal hoops to jump through and people you need to pay to help you do this (usually lawyers and real estate agents), there will be taxes (less than in the United States), there are papers to check out to make sure the owner really owns the property (again, lawyers can help you with the title search), and if you do it right, there will be a neutral party to hold the title and the money and make the switch.I hope that everyone, from the aspiring new agent to the veteran running their own brokerage, will find this information helpful to them in bringing about real estate success.