Every business has it’s jargon and residential real estate is no exception. Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home shares commonly used terms with home buyers and sellers.
1031 exchange or Starker exchange: The delayed exchange of properties that qualifies for tax purposes as a tax-deferred exchange.
1099: The statement of income reported to the IRS for an independent contractor.
A/I: A contract that is pending with attorney and inspection contingencies.
Accompanied showings: Those showings where the listing agent must accompany an agent and his or her clients when viewing a listing.
Addendum: An addition to; a document.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM): A type of mortgage loan whose interest rate is tied to an economic index, which fluctuates with the market. Typical ARM periods are one, three, five, and seven years.
Agent: The licensed real estate salesperson or broker who represents buyers or sellers.
Annual percentage rate (APR): The total costs (interest rate, closing costs, fees, and so on) that are part of a borrower’s loan, expressed as a percentage rate of interest. The total costs are amortized over the term of the loan.
Application fees: Fees that mortgage companies charge buyers at the time of written application for a loan; for example, fees for running credit reports of borrowers, property appraisal fees, and lender-specific fees.
Appointments: Those times or time periods an agent shows properties to clients.
Appraisal: A document of opinion of property value at a specific point in time.
Appraised price (AP): The price the third-party relocation company offers (under most contracts) the seller for his or her property. Generally, the average of two or more independent appraisals.
“As-is”: A contract or offer clause stating that the seller will not repair or correct any problems with the property. Also used in listings and marketing materials.
Assumable mortgage: One in which the buyer agrees to fulfill the obligations of the existing loan agreement that the seller made with the lender. When assuming a mortgage, a buyer becomes personally liable for the payment of principal and interest. The original mortgagor should receive a written release from the liability when the buyer assumes the original mortgage.
Back on market (BOM): When a property or listing is placed back on the market after being removed from the market recently.
Back-up agent: A licensed agent who works with clients when their agent is unavailable.
Balloon mortgage: A type of mortgage that is generally paid over a short period of time, but is amortized over a longer period of time. The borrower typically pays a combination of principal and interest. At the end of the loan term, the entire unpaid balance must be repaid.
Back-up offer: When an offer is accepted contingent on the fall through or voiding of an accepted first offer on a property.
Bill of sale: Transfers title to personal property in a transaction.
Board of REALTORS® (local): An association of REALTORS® in a specific geographic area.
Broker: A state licensed individual who acts as the agent for the seller or buyer.
Broker of record: The person registered with his or her state licensing authority as the managing broker of a specific real estate sales office.
Broker’s market analysis (BMA): The real estate broker’s opinion of the expected final net sale price, determined after acquisition of the property by the third-party company.
Broker’s tour: A preset time and day when real estate sales agents can view listings by multiple brokerages in the market.
Buyer: The purchaser of a property.
Buyer agency: A real estate broker retained by the buyer who has a fiduciary duty to the buyer.
Buyer agent: The agent who shows the buyer’s property, negotiates the contract or offer for the buyer, and works with the buyer to close the transaction.
Carrying costs: Cost incurred to maintain a property (taxes, interest, insurance, utilities, and so on).
Closing: The end of a transaction process where the deed is delivered, documents are signed, and funds are dispersed.
CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange): The insurance industry’s national database that assigns individuals a risk score. CLUE also has an electronic file of a properties insurance history. These files are accessible by insurance companies nationally. These files could impact the ability to sell property as they might contain information that a prospective buyer might find objectionable, and in some cases not even insurable.
Commission: The compensation paid to the listing brokerage by the seller for selling the property. A buyer may also be required to pay a commission to his or her agent.
Commission split: The percentage split of commission compen-sation between the real estate sales brokerage and the real estate sales agent or broker.
Competitive Market Analysis (CMA): The analysis used to provide market information to the seller and assist the real estate broker in securing the listing.
Condominium association: An association of all owners in a condominium.
Condominium budget: A financial forecast and report of a condominium association’s expenses and savings.
Condominium by-laws: Rules passed by the condominium association used in administration of the condominium property.
Condominium declarations: A document that legally establishes a condominium.
Condominium right of first refusal: A person or an association that has the first opportunity to purchase condominium real estate when it becomes available or the right to meet any other offer.
Condominium rules and regulation: Rules of a condominium association by which owners agree to abide.
Contingency: A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding.
Continue to show: When a property is under contract with contingencies, but the seller requests that the property continue to be shown to prospective buyers until contingencies are released.
Contract for deed: A sales contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property but the seller holds title until the loan is paid. Also known as an installment sale contract.
Conventional mortgage: A type of mortgage that has certain limitations placed on it to meet secondary market guidelines. Mortgage companies, banks, and savings and loans underwrite conventional mortgages.
Cooperating commission: A commission offered to the buyer’s agent brokerage for bringing a buyer to the selling brokerage’s listing.
Cooperative (Co-op): Where the shareholders of the corporation are the inhabitants of the building. Each shareholder has the right to lease a specific unit. The difference between a co-op and a condo is in a co-op, one owns shares in a corporation; in a condo one owns the unit fee simple.
Counteroffer: The response to an offer or a bid by the seller or buyer after the original offer or bid.
Credit report: Includes all of the history for a borrower’s credit accounts, outstanding debts, and payment timelines on past or current debts.
Credit score: A score assigned to a borrower’s credit report based on information contained therein.
Curb appeal: The visual impact a property projects from the street.
Days on market: The number of days a property has been on the market.
Decree: A judgment of the court that sets out the agreements and rights of the parties.
Disclosures: Federal, state, county, and local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges.
Divorce: The legal separation of a husband and wife effected by a court decree that totally dissolves the marriage relationship.
DOM: Days on market.