Real property is property in the form of land, what lies beneath the land, and objects fixed to the land. For example, if someone owns a house, this is considered real property, as are the mineral deposits underneath the house and the land the house physically stands on. This type of property is very important type in property law, and there are a number of laws which pertain to the handling of this type of property. Laws vary by region, with different areas having different legal standards.
Another type of property is personal property, which is contrasted from real property by being movable. A house is real property; the couch inside is personal property. A third type of property is known as intellectual property. Each type is treated differently under the law, with various laws pertaining to ownership, right to use, and other issues.
People may refer to real property as real estate or immovable property. As a general rule, land and any sort of immovable improvements made are treated as real property. By contrast, things like equipment are personal property because they can be moved. Rights over minerals and other deposits under the property may also be reassigned, as when someone sells the mineral rights, but keeps the land. Sometimes people utilize contracts such as sales of mineral or oil rights to generate an income from their real property without having to sell the property itself.
The interest which someone has in real property is known as an estate, and there are several different kinds of estate. Tenants, for example, have a form of estate by agreement with the owner of the property, because they are being allowed to use the property in exchange for rent or other forms of payment. Likewise, multiple people can have an interest in a property which is split between heirs, and so forth.
Some lawyers specialize in handling issues which pertain to real estate. These can include ownership disputes, establishment of easements, contract law, and so forth. It is sometimes necessary to consult a legal specialist when framing a deal to make sure that the deal is legal and fair for all parties, and to confirm that everyone's interests and expectations are clearly spelled out. Consulting fees for using a legal professional can vary, depending on the complexity of the job and the region in which the transaction is taking place.