10 Real Estate Lingo Terms All Home Sellers Need to Know

Wading into the world of real estate when you choose to sell your home is often daunting. Suddenly, you’re immersed in all kinds of jargon you’ve never heard. Knowing the lingo is important to successfully navigate the sale of your home, so use this handy guide to learn how to speak fluent real estate.

  1. MLS:
    The “multiple listing service” is a vital real estate tool. Essentially MLS’s are a series of networked property databases. Each one is run and managed by a board and is focused on a specific geographic area; often divided by region. There are lots of benefits of listing your home on the MLS, and while it used to be a process that was only accessible to agents, there are now services that allow FSBOs to list their own property on the MLS as well. By doing so, you gain more widespread exposure to potential buyers.

  2. Convey:
    “Conveying” something in real estate means to transfer the right of ownership from one party to another. This is usually accomplished through legal documentation, such as a deed. When your home sells, you will sign and provide documents that “convey” the property to the buyer. If you have appliances you plan to sell with the property, it will be listed in your notes that those assets will “convey” to the buyer at closing.

  3. Transaction Coordinator:
    Because real estate sales are quite complex, it can be helpful for FSBO sellers to work with a transaction coordinator, also known as a TC. A TC keeps communication between buyer and seller flowing, manages escrow paperwork and more. TC’s perform many of the same functions a broker would perform throughout escrow and closing, but rather than charging a percentage commission, many work for a flat fee.

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  4. Appraisal:
    An appraisal is an estimate or approximation of a property’s value when all relevant factors are considered by a professional property appraiser. These factors include features of the home, the physical state of the property, location, the local market and more. Accurate appraisals are critical for determining an appropriate sale price.

  5. Appreciation:
    Appreciation is the accumulation of additional value over a period. Homes can appreciate in value when they have undergone significant renovations, are located in a good neighborhood or when the market shifts and property values increase.

  6. Closing Costs:
    At closing — the moment when you convey the property to the buyer — a number of sundry fees are paid by either the buyer, seller or both parties. These can include a range of charges from local and regional taxes to legal fees and the cost of any home inspections. Check out a list of common seller fees here.

  7. Counteroffer:
    Not every offer you receive on your home is acceptable at first pass. As the seller, you can respond to unacceptable offers with by offering an amount you are willing to accept as a counteroffer. You can also use effective offer negotiation techniques to come up with an agreeable compromise that will work for both you and your buyer.

  8. Disclosures:
    Any information which you “disclose” to the buyer about the condition of the property. Many times, state law requires that you give your buyer specific disclosures. Disclosures can inform buyers of things like potential termite problems, mold issues, lead paint, structural problems and so on.

Now that you know the basic lingo, you’re ready to prep your listing!

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