Home buying can be a bit overwhelming and knowing a bit of the lingo may help get a grasp on exactly what your lender and realtor are talking about while you search for your perfect home.
When you are looking at house listings as well, some of the lingo will be abbreviated and you may find yourself wondering what exactly DOM=67 may mean.
We’d like to share some of the lingo that is often used while searching for a house.
- MLS = Multiple Listing Service. An MLS is an organization that collects, compiles and distributes information about homes listed for sale by its members, who are real estate brokers. Membership isn’t open to the general public, although selected MLS data may be sold to real estate listings Web sites. MLS’s are local or regional. There is no MLS covering the whole country.
- Lock box = locked key-holding device affixed to a for-sale home so real estate professionals can gain entry into the home after obtaining permission from the listing agent
- Listing = an agreement between a real estate broker and a home owner that allows the broker to market and arrange for the sale of the owner’s home. The word “listing” is also used to refer to the for-sale home itself. A home being sold by the owner without a real estate agent isn’t a “listing.”
- Frplc, Fplc, FP = fireplace
- HDW, HWF, Hdwd = hardwood floors
- Fixture = anything of value that is permanently attached to or a part of real property. (Real estate is legally called “real property,” while movables are called “personal property.”) Examples of fixtures include installed wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, window coverings, landscaping and so on. Fixtures are a frequent subject of buyer and seller disputes. When in doubt, get it in writing.
- Contingency = a provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met. One example is a buyer’s contractual right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home.
- CMA = comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis. A CMA is a report that shows prices of homes that are comparable to a subject home and that were recently sold, are currently on the market or were on the market, but not sold within the listing period.
- Closing costs = the entire package of miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when the real estate deal closes. These costs include the brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney’s settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees, title insurance and so on. Closing costs are generally paid through escrow.
- 4B/2B — four bedrooms and two bathrooms. “Bedroom” usually means a sleeping area with a window and a closet, but the definition varies in different places. A “full bathroom” is a room with a toilet, a sink and a bathtub. A “three-quarter bathroom” has a toilet, a sink and a shower. A “half bathroom” or powder room has only a toilet and a sink.