Real Estate Basics

A quick guide for when you have no choice and need to communicate with your real estate professional!

APPRAISAL- The process of viewing a home by a professional practitioner (appraiser) who has the knowledge and accreditation to estimate the value.

BROKER/OWNER- The owner/co-owner of a real estate office; legally and financially responsible for everything that happens in the office and the realtors working under him.

BROKERAGE- A company doing business selling/leasing real estate through Realtors.

CLOSING- The final exchange of legal title and money when a property has been sold.

CMA- Comparative Market Analysis; a report comparing properties for sale or sold in a listing’s specific neighborhood.

COMMISSION- The compensation received by the brokerage and earned by the sales agents for facilitating the sale/purchase of a home; usually a percentage of the selling price.

CONVENTIONAL LOAN- Type of loan requiring 5% down. Least contingencies with this loan.

EARNEST MONEY/ESCROW- A deposit on a home purchase held by a third party (Brokerage, Title Co, Attorney) until the closing (escrow).

FHA- Type of loan allowing less deposit, lower credit score and higher debt to income score. There are more bank contingencies with this type of loan.

FR- Florida Realtors. A professional association of realtors.

FSBO- For sale by owner (pronounced “fizz bo”) property owner trying to sell their property without the assistance of a Realtor.

INSURANCE- Property insurance billed yearly but collected in monthly increments through your monthly mortgage payments.

LISTING- An agreement between a seller and Brokerage hired to find a buyer for the seller’s property.

LOCKBOX- A device attached to a house which contains a key to the house. Allows agents access to show the property. May have a combo lockbox or be electronic.

MLS- Multiple listing service; computerized lists of properties for sale/lease within a Realtor Association territory.

NAR- National Association of Realtors

OFFER/COUNTER OFFER- A written proposal to purchase/lease a property/the property owner’s reply to an offer.

PERSONAL PROMOTION- Methods agents use to get their name known in the community.

REALTOR®- A real estate licensee (Associate or Broker/Associate) having a membership with the NAR.

TAXES- Property taxes billed yearly but collected in monthly increments through your mortgage.

VA LOAN- Type of loan backed by Veterans Affairs for consumers that served or are presently serving in the military.