Buyer and Seller Resources

Real Estate Jargon 101

Real Estate Jargon 101

One of the things that we at Fonville Morisey - Five County Specialists have come across in our real estate experience is how confusing the industry jargon can be to not only first-time home buyers, but, to sellers as well.

We're always looking for ways to make home buying and selling easier. To help you navigate the process, we’ve compiled a list of the top phrases and terms used in real estate. Now you can be a master of real estate lingo!

Active Listing - A listing that is active and available on the MLS, as opposed to a Pending or Contingent listing, which is likely already under contract.

Appraisal - Written explanation of a property's fair market value, often based on comparable home sales in the area.

Appreciation - The increase in the value of a home based mostly on inflation and market conditions.

Buyer's Market - A market with more sellers than buyers; too many homes on the market without enough buyers causes lower prices because homes are harder to sell.

Contingent - When a property listing is marked contingent, the seller has accepted an offer, but there may still be provisions that must be met. 

Conventional Loan - A loan not insured or guaranteed by the government.

Deed - A written document for a title to real estate to be conveyed from one party to another.

Due Diligence - Taking care before signing a contract to research, analyze, and gather information about a property.

Earnest Money - Money you give to the seller (or seller's agent) to show your good faith when making an offer to purchase.

Escrow - A bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party, taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled.

FHA Loan - Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance which is provided by an FHA-approved lender. Enables qualifying Americans to borrow money for the purchase of a home that they would not otherwise be able to afford.

HOA - An HOA is the abbreviation for Home Owners Association.

HOA Dues - Fees paid to your Home Owners Association to cover the cost of yard maintenance, disaster insurance, and neighborhood-wide amenities.

Home Inspection - A limited observation of a home made prior to purchasing that includes any areas needing improvement or attention before closing.

Homeowners Insurance - Type of property insurance covering a private residence

HUD - Department of Housing & Urban Development 

Mortgage - A legal document promising a property to the lender as collateral for payment of a debt.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) - Database of current homes on the market used by real estate professionals. The TMLS is the Triangle area's database of homes currently listed for sale.

Pending Listing - A real estate listing on the MLS that is pending sale. The home seller has accepted an offer and all contingencies have been addressed. A Pending home is no longer Active.

PITI - The abbreviation for principal, interest, taxes and insurance; usually a monthly payment on a mortgage to a lender. Also used to pre-qualify a buyer.

Points - A fee paid up front to the lender at closing to lower the interest rate over the life of the loan. Also known as discount points or purchase points.

Realtor - A member of the National Association of REALTORS® who acts as an agent for the sale and purchase of buildings and land; a real estate agent.

Staging - Preparing a home for sale by improving the property's appeal for potential buyers.

Under Contract - A home for sale wherein the home seller has accepted an offer from a buyer.

VA Loan - A mortgage loan issued by qualified lenders guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Did we miss one? If you have a real estate word or phrase you need to understand better, contact us at 919-887-5114. We have a real estate specialist ready to answer your questions.

We’re Here to Partner With You

Triangle area real estate transactions can be challenging enough when you don’t understand the landscape. Whether buying your dream home or selling your current property for an upgrade, you’ll want an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional at your side.

At Fonville Morisey - Five County Specialists, we have the expertise and industry-leading resources to help you reach your Triangle real estate goals. Contact us today; we're ready to get to work exceeding your expectations!

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