Like any business, field, or specialty profession, the real estate industry has words and lingo that wouldn’t make sense to an untrained ear. Professionals have the dialogue down pat, but you might have a hard time keeping up with the fast-tracked conversations and the acronyms if you venture into the real estate market unprepared.
It can be hard to keep it all in-line and straightened out, so why not learn the vocabulary early and start preparing yourself? In case you’re looking to buy or sell your home without the help of a realtor, or just want to be completely prepared, here are some terms you should know before walking into the experience.
- Contingencies are usually the requirements a seller must meet in order for the buyer to purchase the home. They can include things such as appraisals or home inspections, and give the buyer a way to get out of the deal if their standards are not met. There may also be contingencies the buyer must meet.
- “Listings” are exactly what they sound like, the listings of a home online or with the Multiple Listing Service, also referred to as the MLS. Listing a home can open a lot of opportunities for buyers to see the home online before deciding to visit or buy.
- The “MLS” is the Multiple Listing Service, as mentioned above. It is a database that lists all the homes that are currently available for sale, typically categorized by zip code/city. If you plan on buying or selling a home, it’s likely that you’ll see this service and its acronym many times before you ink a deal.
- Lockboxes are the small, rectangular boxes you might see hanging from the doorknobs of available homes. They are commonly used to house the keys to a home, and can be opened by a real estate agent or a potential viewer or the home’s owner with a code or the swipe of a card. They keep the keys safe in one spot, while also protecting them from thieves or people who might lose them.
- “FSBO” stands for ‘for sale by owner’. If you’re selling a home, you’re the owner, but if you’re a buyer, you might be dealing with the owner themselves when you close a deal. On one hand, they are assuming all the responsibility for the purchase, but on the other, they are also forgoing a real estate agent for the process.
- “REO” means ‘real estate owned’, meaning that the property is owned by the bank instead of an independent person or couple. This usually means the house was foreclosed, and that you will most likely be buying the house ‘as-is’ from the bank.
It is extremely important to know your stuff when dealing with large matters such as buying or selling a home. It’s not a small task, and if you’re confident that you can achieve it without hiring an agent, be sure to make your lists and check them twice! With a little bit of studying and some negotiation, you can close a deal and start living your normal life as soon as possible. Of course, finding a helper in our real estate agent directory can help streamline the process.