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Common Terminology For Sellers

  • Appraisal – A document of opinion of the property value at a specific point in time. 1
  • Back-up Offer – When an offer is accepted contingent on the first buyer falling through or the voiding of the accepted first offer on a property. 1
  • Buyer’s Agent – The agent who shows the buyer’s property, negotiates the contract or offer for the buyer, and works with the buyer to close the transaction. 1
  • Closing – The end of a transaction process where the deed is delivered, documents are signed, and funds are dispersed. 1
  • Closing Costs – The fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. 1
  • Contingency – A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding. 1
  • DOM – Days on Market. 1
  • Dual Agency – The representation of both principals (buyers and sellers) at the same time. 1
  • Due Diligence – The process of gathering information about the condition and legal status of assets to be sold. 1
  • Earnest Money Deposit – The money given to escrow at the time the offer is accepted as a sign of the buyer’s good faith. 1
  • Escrow – A bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party and taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled.2
  • Home Inspection – A home inspector examines your home for defects: HVAC system, electrical, plumbing, attic, flooring, foundation, etc. 1
  • Listing Agent – The agent that represents the home seller during a real estate transaction. 1
  • List Price – The price of a property through a listing agreement. 1
  • Market Value – The highest price in terms of money that a property will bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions, requisite to a fair sale. The buyer and seller, each acting prudently, knowledgeably, and assuming the price is not affected by undue stimulus. 1
  • Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – A service that compiles available properties for sale by member brokers. 1
  • Pre-Approval – A higher level of buyer/borrower prequalification is required by a mortgage lender. Some preapprovals have conditions the borrower must meet. 1
  • Pre-Qualification – The mortgage company tells a buyer in advance of the formal mortgage application, how much money the borrower can afford to borrow. Some pre-qualifications have conditions that the borrower must meet. 1
  • REALTOR – A registered trademark of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS that can be used only by its members. 1
  • Relevant Properties aka Comparative Market Analysis – A study done by real estate sales agents and brokers using active, pending, and sold comparable properties to estimate a listing price for a property. 1
Sources: REALTOR Magazine | Real Estate Glossary ( (