Glossary of Real Estate Terms

Ya gotta love Stan (our Real Estate agent, referred to us by Scoble). He’s sending emails out to active and former clients at two in the morning. Well, there’s no telling where he scored this small list of definitions, but I’m sure they’ll come in handy for those of us who aren’t necessarily hip to the real estate lingo.

So, here’s the jargon directly from Mr. Mackey, m’kay?

The words and expressions used by doctors, lawyers, and other professionals may sometimes sound like a foreign language. Because real estate terms also can be confusing, here is a mini-glossary of some of the most common ones:

  • Agency: The relationship that a real estate agent has with a client.
  • CMA: Comparable Market Analysis, a home evaluation based on properties that have sold in the neighborhood similar to the property being priced.
  • Disclosure: An oral and/or written communication about agency, property condition, or other key factors.
  • Earnest Money: A good-faith deposit provided as consideration when a buyer offers to the seller of a property a contract to purchase the property.
  • MLS: Multiple Listing Service, information on properties that is shared among brokers belonging to a specific multiple listing organization.
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement: A contract from the buyer to the seller offering to purchase the property for a certain price.

When you’re ready to sell your home, I’ll be happy to explain all the terms and transaction details and walk you through the entire process. Please don’t hesitate to email or call me if I can help you or answer any questions.

And speaking of experts and expertise – apparently, I overstepped my bounds a while ago with claiming that my wife knew everything about the mortgage industry – she’s my wife, after all (she DOES know everything – even though she may not know everything about the mortgage industry). Oh, and my unscientific claim that a majority of those professionals are not trustworthy was also uncertifiably off-base (even though personal experiences have always illustrated that when any kind of financial incentive or commission is involved, it’s in the other party’s best interest to make as much money as they can from an underinformed, disconnected individual).

9 thoughts on “Glossary of Real Estate Terms”

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  4. This is helpful info. And just for the record I agree with you about the under informed, disconnected individual thing. I have seen this happen way too many times. Also just wanted to ask since this is a Real Estate-related blog…have you heard of the show Bought & Sold on HGTV? It’s a show about the inner workings of the real estate business. It basically shows 12 different agents trying to show houses and close the deal. It gives you huge insight into the way homes are marketed and how price levels are decided upon in the Northern New Jersey market. You can check out a preview –,panel=videos – It’s on Sundays at 10PM e/p time on HGTV. I work with them so that’s how I know all of this info. I thought you or people here might be interested in checking it out, a lot of the lingo you presented here is used in the show.

  5. Chris,

    This is an informative post; thank you for sharing. If your readers are looking for more information before talking to Stan, I have found the Zillow Real Estate Wiki to be an excellent source of information.


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