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10 Need-To-Know Real Estate Definitions

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10 Need-To-Know Real Estate Definitions

10 Need-To-Know Real Estate Definitions

If you are new to the real estate market or have been down this road before, there are probably some real estate terms that you aren’t quite familiar with. Here are 10 real estate definitions to help you feel knowledgeable in the complicated world of real estate.

1. Escrow

This term refers to the third party that deals with the property transaction, the exchange of money, and any related documents.

Realtor showing materials to couple smiling.

2. Earnest Money

This is the money that you put down before closing on a house to say that you want that house. Earnest money is like a deposit that you get back at closing.

3. Contingent

This refers to the sale status of the home. When a home is contingent, the buyer and seller need to agree to certain terms before the status of the listing can go to pending.

4. MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

This is the database used by realtors and brokers to find and list homes on the market. Your realtor can find homes on MLS before they are on the market and help you find a home that fits your needs.

5. Closing Costs

There are several required several fees involved in closing on a house. All these fees come from different sources of those who helped you get your home, like a lender, title company, insurance company, etc.

Close up of African American husband signing ownership contract buying first house with white wife, spouses closing deal with realtor or broker purchasing shared property or taking loan for apartment

6. As-is

When a home is referred to “as-is” this means that the seller wants to sell the home with minimal (or even zero) repairs. The seller may also mean this by keeping the price as-is.

7. Inspection

A home inspection is a crucial part of buying a house. This is where you have a licensed professional come in and check the house for any kind of red flags. These can include any signs of radon detection, the structural components of the home, issues with electrical systems, plumbing, and more.

8. Under Contract

This status of the home is when the seller has accepted an offer from the buyer. However, the transaction still has not closed yet when a house is under contract.

9. Fair Market Value

The fair market value is the price the home would sell at under normal market conditions. The price comes from assessments and appraisals that determine the value of the home.

Woman's hands typing on a laptop with a folder of materials and a notebook next to her on the table.

10. Addendum

An addendum is when the buyer or seller wants to make changes in the contract, so either party outlines the part that they want to be adjusted. Everything else in the contract stays the same.


If you’re thinking about buying or selling and have additional questions, contact us to get
connected with a Malfer & Associates agent today!