Real Estate Glossary and Related Keywords List

Here are definitions for some common terms used in real estate.

You can also use this page to quickly find related content throughout this website.  Just hover your mouse pointer over any highlighted keyword and you'll see a list of related content links.

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.