Top 20 Common Real Estate Terms
Acreage: A parcel of land one acre or more.
Acre = 46520 sqft
Appraisal: A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby
Broker: A licensed professional that brings two parties together for a real estate transaction and earns a fee for doing so.
BPO (Broker Price Opinion) Used by lenders to establish market value on a home that is in foreclosure.
CMA: (Comparable Market Analysis) A report that Realtors create to determine a specific homes value. The report looks at sales close to the subject property and makes adjustments for differences.
Closing: A real estate transaction in Washington State is not considered closed until the documents record at the counties recording office. This is the point that the money is paid and the ownership of a property transfers.
Closing Costs: These are the costs associated with securing a mortgage and completing a real estate transaction. Both a buyer and seller will incur closing costs. They may include cost of an Appraisal, Commissions to the brokers, Title insurance, among others.
Contingency: A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For Example: Buyers often include a Home Inspection Contingency, that requires a satisfactory report by a licensed home inspector be received or the transaction is terminated.
Deed: A legal document conveying title to a property
Down payment: The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.
Earnest Money: A deposit made by the potential buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the property
Easement: A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.
HOA: A non-profit association that manages the common areas of a planned unit development or plat.
Lien: A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or Deed of trust is considered a lien.
Lot: A parcel of land under one acre
Mortgage: A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt. Instead of mortgages, some states use First Trust Deeds
Purchase & Sale Agreement: A written contract signed buy the buyers and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold.
Recording: The recording in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage note etc. Documents that are recorded are public record.
Title: A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property