Close with Confidence: The 20 Most Important Real Estate Terms for Home Sellers

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Selling a home can be a trying time. First, you must prepare your home for the market which includes a long list of to-do items like cleaning and fixing minor or major issues. Then, you have to list your home which is a whole new world of real estate terms and big numbers.

That’s why you need to know real estate terminology before you list your home for sale. It could actually help you make the right decisions as you prepare for this extreme life event. 

Whether you’re thinking about selling your home or you’ve already listed it, we’re here to help. Keep reading for a comprehensive list of all the important real estate terms that sellers should know.

Real Estate Terms Sellers Need to Know

Real estate jargon is a complicated language with a lot of terms and definitions. Not knowing what something means when your real estate agent or buyer or even banker is speaking to you can cost you time and money in the long run. It can also cause you to be taken advantage of if you’re not careful. 

Take a look at these terms and make yourself familiar with them so that you can have educated discussions with all involved throughout the process of selling your home.

1. Listing Agent

If you’ve already listed your home, you may be familiar with this term. The listing agent represents the seller to home buyer’s and buyer’s agents.

2. Real Estate Agent

Sometimes also known as a realtor. Realtors must be members of the National Association of Realtors. Real estate agents and realtors can represent buyers and sellers as long as they hold current licensing.

3. Real Estate Broker

Real estate brokers generally work over other agents. They have passed a state broker’s exam and met a minimum number of qualifications to earn this title and responsibility. 

4. Buyer’s Agent

You may have had a buyer’s agent when you bought your home. This agent represents the buyer during the sale process and transaction.

5. Loan Officer

A loan officer assists buyers with the purchase of a home. They generally work for mortgage brokers or banking institutions. 

6. Commission

Real estate agents and loan officers earn their living off commission. This is the premium charged, typically a percentage of the sale of a home, for services provided.

7. For Sale By Owner (FSBO)

If you are interested in selling your home without representation, you may list it yourself. You will be solely responsible for advertising the home. This is an easy way to avoid paying commission.

8. Owner Financing

May also be known as seller financing. This definition is just like it sounds – the buyer finances the home directly through the seller thereby bypassing conventional mortgage lenders and financial institutions.

9. Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

One of the most important real estate terms to know when trying to sell a house is MLS. The multiple listing service is a nationwide listing site where agents and sellers can list details of their property for sale so that buyers can find them. 

10. Staging

Many sellers find it beneficial to stage their homes according to trends in decor and design in order to appeal to buyers’ interests. You can hire a home stager or do it yourself.

11. Pre-Qualification

In realtor terms, a pre-qualification simply means that a buyer has the credentials to purchase a home. 

12. Pre-Approval

A pre-approval indicates that the buyer has the financing to purchase the home.

13. Appraisal

When selling your home, you must have it appraised in order to evaluate the market value. The appraiser will determine this value by comparing your home to other homes in the neighborhood.

14. Equity

Once your home is appraised, you will know how much equity is in the home. This is the amount of worth minus the difference in what you owe on the home. In other words, it is the profit you will receive for selling the home if you receive full asking price.

15. Inspection

Each home for sale must have several inspections before a mortgage company will approve the purchase. This may include structural inspections, pest inspections, and others upon request of the buyer.

16. Contingency

Contingencies are certain stipulations in a real estate contract that must be met prior to the final sale of the home. These are generally provided by both buyer and seller.

17. Counteroffer

Once a buyer offers you an amount on your home, you should always come back with a counteroffer. This should be a lower amount than what the buyer proposed but within your comfort range.

18. Purchase Agreement

There’s always a lot of paperwork when it comes to selling a house. Including a purchase agreement. This agreement demonstrates the buyer’s intent to purchase your home.

19. Title

A home title is similar to a car title – it represents your rights to the property. Each time a home is sold, the title is transferred from seller to buyer which gives the buyer legal rights to the property.

20. Closing

The closing is the last stage of a sale transaction. You will meet with the buyer and any agents that have been involved as well as a title closer to sign all necessary documents which legally transfers the property from you to the buyer.

Final Thoughts

Knowing all of the proper real estate terms will benefit you throughout the process of selling your home. Keep this real estate glossary with you as you navigate buyers and agents so that you have something to reference when they start throwing around mortgage language. Not only will you feel more confident, but you’ll also come off as knowledgeable to those you’re dealing with. 

If you have questions or want to sell your home fast, don’t hesitate to contact us. We buy homes for cash!

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