Decoding Real Estate Lingo

Dated: 01/07/2020

Views: 1005

Decoding Real Estate Lingo


Decoding Real Estate Lingo can be a challenge if you’re new to the game. Whether you’re a new home buyer or a seasoned investor, you quickly realize that real estate has a language all its own. Here are 10 common terms to keep you up to speed:

Buyer’s Market

A real estate climate where the amount of listings outnumber qualified buyers. The buyer has plenty of options, so the seller is incentivized to offer better deals in order to sell the property.

Seller’s Market

A real estate climate when there are very few desirable properties listed for sale. It’s common for bidding wars to occur among qualified buyers.


Specific conditions included in offer to protect the buyer against unexpected situations, such as inspection, loan approval and appraisal value. You may also have a “Contingent upon sale” which gives you the option to make an offer contingent on the sale of your current home.

EMD – Earnest Money Deposit

Money deposited when the offer is accepted. Subject to any contingencies, this money protects the seller from a buyer who simply changes his/her mind. The EMD is deposited into an escrow account.

Due Diligence

A specified period to provide the buyer sufficient time to ensure that they are getting a home worth the price they offered without any hidden defects. This is the time to schedule a home inspection, appraisal, and review documents about the house.

Title Company / Escrow Officer

A neutral 3rd party who manages the paperwork in a state where attorneys are not used to conclude the contract. They also offer insurance that protects the buyer from financial loss sustained from defects in a title to a property


A one- to two-hour meeting during which ownership of a home is transferred from seller to buyer. Get ready to sign a lot of documents.

Closing Costs

Include a variety of expenses above the purchase price of your property, such as fees for an attorney, a title search, title insurance, taxes, lender costs and some upfront housing expenses – usually 2-5% of the purchase price

PMI – Private Mortgage Insurance

A fee paid by the borrower of a loan that they obtained with less than a 20% down payment. The fee, 0.3% to 1.5% of the yearly loan amount, can be canceled in certain circumstances when the borrower reaches 20% equity.

HOA – Homeowners Association

The governing body of a housing development, condo or townhome complex that sets rules and regulations and charges dues and special assessments used to maintain common areas and cover unexpected expenses respectively.

Short Sale

A short sale is a sale of real estate in which the net proceeds from selling the property will fall short of the debts secured by liens against the property. In this case, if all lien holders agree to accept less than the amount owed on the debt, a sale of the property can be accomplished.

Home Loans

The common types of home loans are Conventional, VA, and FHA. Check out our other article about the types of mortgages.

We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of real estate terms and lingo you’ll hear during the home buying or selling process.  If you feel you are ready to find out more about home ownership or how else you can be prepared for it, contact us anytime at 702-970-8855. Our office is conveniently located to receive walk-in consultations. You can also find us online. Whenever you are ready to take the next step, our agents will be ready to assist you.

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JC Carrillo

Born and raised in Las Vegas, The Carrillo Brothers recognize the trust their clients place in them. With over 12 years of experience in the real estate industry, JC has been continuously ranked among....

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