Real Estate Glossary and Related Keywords ListHere are definitions for some common terms used in real estate.
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agent : A representative with authority to act on your behalf in conducting real estate searches and transactions.
appraisal : An estimation of the value of a property created by a qualified professional.
asking price : The sale price of a property initially offered by the seller.
blended family : A family formed by the combination of two or more families following remarriage(s) after divorce.
buyer : In a real estate transaction, the person purchasing the property.
children : In legal terms, persons younger than the age of majority.
closing : The conclusion of a real estate transaction, when ownership of the property transfers from seller to buyer after all parties have met all terms in the contract and the deed transfer is recorded.
contract : In real estate, a written or oral agreement between two or more parties to transfer ownership of a property, along with the completion of other obligations.
costs : Expenses made in obtaining or dispensing property.
distress sales : The sale of a property that has been foreclosed upon or had other restrictions put upon it by creditors.
downpayment , down payment : The initial cash amount paid on the purchase of a property.
empty nest : The property of a married couple whose children have established separate households. Frequently sold to reduce the couple’s housing space.
expired : The time period for a listing contract has ended.
financing : The process of obtaining a loan or mortgage to purchase property.
first home : The first property purchased by a person in their lifetime. May also refer to a mutliple-property owner's principal residence.
first time buyer : A person in the process of buying their first home.
fixer upper : A property in need of refurbishment or remodeling, usually selling at below-market value.
foreclosure : The legal process in which a lender terminates the owner’s rights to a property pledged as security for a mortgage. The property is then usually sold by the lender to satisfy the debt.
guarantee : The assurance given by a party that they will provide a stated service or meet an obligation.
guaranteed sale : The commitment by a real estate agent to purchase a property from a seller at an agreed price, if it is not otherwise purchased within an agreed period of time.
hiring : Engaging the services of a professional.
improvements : Modifications to a property to improve its condition.
income : A stream of financial benefits.
in-law suite : Separate living space on a property for the owner's parents or other family members.
insurance : The promise of reimbursement in case of a loss, usually obtained through prepayments to the insurer.
investment property , investment properties : A property owned for the primary purpose of generating income, either through rental or anticipation of sale.
landlord : The owner of a property rented to another.
lawyer : A representative with authority to act on your behalf in conducting legal transactions.
loan : Money or other consideration given by a lender to a borrower. In real estate this is usually done through a mortgage.
location : The position of a property in relation to others, and to local or general economic activity.
market value : The highest price a property will sell for in a competitive and open market.
military : Of or having to do with a country’s armed forces.
mortgage : The transfer of a legal interest in a property to a lender as security for a debt, usually the money required by a buyer to purchase the property.
move up : Trading your existing property for one that is larger or improved in some aspect or condition.
moving : Relocating your belongings to a new property.
multi-generational home : A home with features to accommodate a family of multiple generations, such as separate suites or living areas.
negotiations , negotiating , negotiate : The bargaining process to create a contract for the sale of a property.
neighborhood : The position of a property in relation to others, and to local or general economic activity.
offer : The set of conditions (usually including money) presented by a potential buyer to create a contract for the sale of the property.
open house : Presentation of a property for inspection by potential buyers, without the need for an appointment.
pool : An excavation or construction that is (usually) filled with water.
preapproval : A promise by a mortgage lender that a buyer will qualify for a future mortgage of a specified amount.
price : The sale price of a property, either as initially offered by the seller, or as agreed-upon in the contract of sale.
pricing : Setting the sale price of a property.
professional : A person working in a specific trade with appropriate qualifications and experience.
Realtor : In common speech may refer to any real estate agent, but only a registered member of the National Association of Realtors, who subscribes to its strict code of ethics, should publicly identify themselves as a Realtor.
relocation : The act of moving to a different community due to a change in the condition of employment. May also refer to reassignment of military personnel.
renovations : Modifications to a property to improve its condition.
rent : The fee paid to a property owner for the use of a property.
second home : An additional property that is not the owner’s primary residence.
seller : In a real estate transaction, the property owner seeking to trade the property for financial gain.
tax , taxes : An enforced charge demanded of persons, corporations and organizations by a government, to be used to support government services.
vacation home : An additional property that is not the owner’s primary residence.