Real Estate Glossary and Related Keywords List

Here 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.
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