Top 10 Real Estate Terms Defined

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When your real estate agent mentions a CMA, the MLS or HOAs, are you always certain what those terms mean? Every industry uses acronyms and jargon, and residential real estate is no different. To help you follow some “Realtor-speak,” here’s a guide to 10 commonly used terms:

  1. CMA – A comparative market analysis is a report that will show you homes of similar in size and number of bedrooms to your home that are on the market, pending sale or have sold in the last six months. You can see current listing prices, final sale prices and each home’s number of days on market.
  2. MLS – A Multiple Listing Service is an organization that compiles and distributes information about homes that are for sale by its real estate agent members. The service is not available to the public.
  3. FSBO (“Fizz bo”) – A home that is “for sale by owner” and not represented by a real estate professional. Your real estate agent can still help you with the sale, but the seller will not be represented by an agent.
  4. Broker’s Open – An open house for real estate agents only, mainly held mid-week soon after a home is listed. A network of agents is made aware of the home and can determine if it meets one of their current buyers’ needs.
  5. HOAs – Owners of a home, condo or townhome in a community governed by an association pay a monthly homeowners’ assessment for operating and maintaining common areas, mechanicals and elements scheduled for future repair or replacement. Lower HOAs can mean owners are specially assessed for larger projects. Make sure to consider the monthly HOA with your mortgage payment when calculating the costs to live in the home.
  6. Pre-qualified buyer – Buyers share information about their credit score, income, debts and assets with a lender who gives them an initial assessment of how much money they would likely be loaned. This helps a buyer know in what price range they should focus their home search. It is not a commitment for a loan.
  7. Pre-approved buyer – A lender verifies a buyer’s credit, income, debts and assets and provides a pre-approval letter good for 120 days stating the loan amount the buyer is approved to receive. A buyer will feel more confident about accepting an offer from a buyer who is pre-approved.
  8. Pending –  A property marked as pending means all contingencies have been removed and the property is moving toward closing.
  9. Contingent – Refers to an offer contract based on a certain condition being met by a specified time. The condition might be the home passing an inspection or the buyer obtaining financing or selling their home.
  10. Real estate agent vs. REALTOR —Don’t these mean the same thing? Not entirely. A person who obtains a real estate license is a real estate agent. A REALTOR® is a trademarked name that represents a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.

To find a real estate agent to help you navigate the home buying or selling process, visit ColdwellBankerHomes.com.

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