Home Seller's Dictionary: Real Estate Lingo You Need to Know

As with most fields, real estate has a slew of jargon that doesn’t make much sense unless you eat, sleep and breathe the industry. While you don’t need a doctorate in real estate speak to complete a successful transaction, there are a few key words and phrases you should know before you sell. Check out this home seller’s dictionary to learn what you need to know!

home seller's dictionary

Seller’s Real Estate Lingo Dictionary:

  • Multiple Listing Service:
    More commonly known as the MLS, the multiple listing service is the central hub for all active real estate listings, broken down by region. To access the MLS, you must use a real estate agent or service.
  • Contingencies:
    Specific criteria that must be met in order for the finalized home sale to be completed. These typically fall into 3 major categories – appraisal, home inspection and mortgage approval.
  • Earnest Money:
    A deposit made to a seller that shows the buyer’s good faith in a transaction (to confirm the contract with the seller). It is typically held in a trust or escrow account.
  • Assessed Value:
    The valuation placed on a property by a public assessor for the purposes of taxation.
  • Comparative Market Analysis (CMA):
    Also commonly known as comps, CMAs are the best tool to determine property value. They compare data from recently sold properties in a neighborhood – such as sale price, house age, size and square footage.
  • Appraisal:
    A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby.
  • Appreciation:
    An increase in property value that occurs as a result of changes to the local real estate market conditions, inflation or other causes.

Now you know the basics. If you happen to stumble across any other words that stump you throughout the selling process, you can look them up in this real estate glossary.

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