REAL ESTATE TERMINOLOGY GUIDE

REAL ESTATE TERMINOLOGY GUIDE

Selling a home can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! We are here to guide you through ever step and provide any resources that may ease your stress. Visit this terminology guide to brush up on some commonly used terms.

YOUR HOME VALUE

YOUR HOME VALUE

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FINANCIAL DASHBOARD

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Seller services for every need!

We have seller services to fit every need and situation! Whether you are looking for the convenience of a cash offer (without sacrificing your equity!), or want to get the best offer on the open market, we have a solution for you! Worried about the condition of your home, the timeline for closing or trying to coordinate a simultaneous closing and purchase, we have options for that too!

The cornerstone of our approach to real estate is great communication. We want to be your trusted advisor and biggest advocate to realize your real estate goals. We have the experience, team, resources, and tools to do this. Check out our selling services below that we can tailor and combine to meet your selling needs.

Have a question we haven’t answered? We are happy to help!

Top 5 Seller Faqs

Most homeowners want to know how much their home is worth.  This frequently asked question is another one that cannot be answered with a generalized answer.  One of the best perks to owning a home is the ability to make it your own and improve it how you’d like.  Finding out how much your home is worth is not something that should be done without asking a top local Real Estate Agent. 

There are a handful of methods that Real Estate Agents use to determine the value of a home.  The most common method to determine the value of a home is by completing a comparative market analysis.  A comparative market analysis is an in-depth evaluation of recently sold “comparable” homes in the past 3-12 months, depending on the market.  A comparative market analysis, also known as a “CMA,” isn’t a crystal ball that determines what a home will sell for, however, if performed by a top Real Estate Agent, it should greatly narrow the sale price range. 

A professionally completed “CMA” will take into account many features of not only a home, but also the local area and neighborhood.  Considerations that a professionally completed “CMA” include, but is not limited too: 

 ~ Square footage 

~ Number of bedrooms 

~ Number of bathrooms 

~ Upgrades to kitchen 

~ Window quality 

~ Roof age 

~ Lot features 

~ Location; primary or neighborhood street? 

~ Style of residence 

~ Flooring type and other upgrades or improvements 

This frequently asked question cannot be answered with a simple or general answer.  Every real estate market is different, therefore, the best time to sell a home will be different from real estate community to real estate community.  In most cases, the spring months are the best time to be selling a home.  

Since every home seller's situation is different, you should discuss the timing of your home sale with your Realtor.  In some cases, selling a home during the fall and winter months actually may be better than waiting until the spring real estate market.  This is due to a combination of many factors including lower competition and that serious buyers are always looking for a home. 

There are several things you need to know before listing your home for sale.  Not properly preparing a home for sale can put a homeowner at a huge disadvantage. 

The expression “You never get a second chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true when it comes to selling a home.  If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer both emotionally and visually, thus prompting them to make an offer. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price. A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation. 

Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Real estate agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. What you need are objective opinions, and it’s sometimes hard to separate the personal and emotional ties you have for your home from the property itself. 

Typically, there are some general fix ups that need to be done both outside and on the inside. As a seller, you should consider the following: 

Ensure clutter is at a minimum. Go through every room and eliminate items that do not add to the space.  

Clean out closets to best present the space and storage that your home has. As a rule of thumb, only leave about a ⅓ of the clothes that you have in your closet and pack the rest. 

Landscaping - Has the front yard been maintained? Are areas of the house visible to the street in good condition? 

Painting - Does both the exterior and the interior look like they have been well taken care of?  

Carpeting - Does the carpet have stains? Or does the carpet look old and dirty? 

Ensure odors are non-existent. We can become nose blind to the smells of our own homes. Get an objective opinion of whether or not your home has any odors. 

As part of our listing services, we assist you with identifying the improvements that can be made that will maximize your profit. We also assist with a complimentary staging consultation to best identify how to show your home with its existing furniture and accessories in its best light.

Assessed value is not the same as market value or appraised value.  There are many homes that could be sold for significantly more than an assessed value and others that may be sold for significantly less.  The assessed value of a home is used for the purpose of taxes in your local municipality.  The assessed value of a home is multiplied by the local tax rate to determine what your yearly taxes are.  The assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth to a potential buyer in the marketplace. 

Unfortunately, there are many home buyer’s who believe that a home that is listed higher than the assessed value is overpriced.  This is the furthest from the truth.  Home buyer’s also question if something is wrong with a home if the list price is much less than the assessed value.  The bottom line is the assessed value has no impact on how much your home is worth.  There are homeowners who don’t pay attention to their assessed value, just to find out their municipality has been slowly raising it, year after year, even though the market value hasn’t been increasing. 

This frequently asked question often leads to a common pricing mistake that sellers make.  Many sellers believe they should price their home higher than what their Real Estate Agent suggests or market value to leave room for negotiations and low-ball offers.  A well priced home will sell quickly and will sell for close to the listing price. This applies in strong seller markets as well.  Pricing at the current market value can lead to a multiple offer situation with over list price offers and buyers competing for the home. Whereas if the home is too aggressively priced, it could exclude buyers from looking at the home and stigmatize a home if the price needs to be reduced and/or the time on market exceeds what is typical for the market. Regardless of the type of market that it is, there is no need to leave room for negotiations, as today’s home buyers are very well educated.  A seller who prices their home high to leave room for negotiations can actually be costing themselves more money than if they price it to reflect the suggested market value. 

Acronym Guide

The real estate industry uses several unique acronyms and abbreviations. Professionals in the industry tend to use these as part of their everyday vocabulary… frequently without even realizing it. This can be intimidating to the average home buyer or seller. You should always feel comfortable asking for clarification if you do not understand something – this is what your agent is there for! But to get a leg up, we have provided this guide of the 51 more common real estate abbreviations and acronyms used by agents

An accredited buyer representative, or ABR, is a special designation for real estate agents offered by the National Association of REALTORS®

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In real estate listings, AC stands for “air conditioning,” which means that the listed property has an air-cooling system.

ALTA or the American Land Title Association is a trade association representing the title insurance industry. ALTA settlement statements are specifically designed to organize the property selling process and provides a thorough breakdown of what charges apply and to which party.  This helps both the buyer and the seller better understand how the final costs have been reached and why each of you owes the specific fees. 

 

After repair value, or ARV, is the property’s estimated market value after it undergoes specific repairs and renovations. ARV is a term often used in house flipping.

BINSR or Buyer’s Inspection Notice and Seller Response. This document is used during an Arizona real estate transaction and is filled out by the buyer or their professional representation after the offer is accepted and during the due diligence period (inspection period). In most cases, it is a list of requests, compiled from the home inspection report, that the buyer makes to the seller, in order for them to continue with the purchase of the property. They are essentially using the notice to inform the Seller of Non-Working items, Disapproved Items, or Repairs that need to be addressed by the Seller.

CD or Closing Disclosure. A Closing Disclosure is form that provides final details about the mortgage loan a borrower has selected. It includes the loan terms, the projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage (closing costs).

A comparative market analysis, or CMA, is a report that estimates a property’s value based on comparable properties that were recently sold in the area.

CC&R (sometimes written CCR) stands for “covenants, conditions, and restrictions,” or the set of rules and regulations that are in place in planned communities, usually determined and enforced by a homeowners’ association.

CLUE or Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report provides a home buyer with a detailed overview of any homeowner's insurance claims that have been filed and made on a house.

CoCR (or CoC return) stands for “cash-on-cash return,” a return-on-investment calculation in which the investor calculates the annual return they have received from a property and compares it to the yearly amount they have paid in mortgage payments or other costs.

COE or Close of Escrow is a frequently used acronym used by Real Estate Agents. Close of Escrow is the point in the homebuying process when everything is finalized. The funds held in escrow and the loan amount are transferred to the seller, and all outstanding third-party costs, such as taxes and HOA fees, are settled.

Certified property manager, or CPM, is a special designation for property managers offered by the National Association of Realtors.

CRB stands for “certified real estate broker” a special designation for brokers offered by the National Association of REALTORS®.

CRE, or commercial real estate, refers to real estate used for business purposes rather than private property (or residential real estate).

A certified residential specialist, or CRS, is a special designation that the National Association of REALTORS® awards to residential real estate agents after they meet specific requirements.

DTI or Debt to Income. Your debt-to-income ratio is all your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income. This number is one way lenders measure your ability to manage the month

EM or Earnest Money. Earnest money is put down when you have an executed purchase agreement to show you're serious about purchasing. It's also known as a good faith deposit.

In real estate listings, FDR stands for “formal dining room,” which refers to a room usually off the kitchen that can fit a sit-down dining room table for meals.

FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, is a department in the United States government that provides special mortgage insurance on FHA-approved loans.

FMV, or fair market value, is the estimated price that a property will sell for in a completely open market. In real estate transactions, a home’s fair market value is based on a combination of factors, including current market trends, appraisal value, and an assessment of comparable homes in the area.

For sale by owner, or FSBO, is a designation for a property sold by the property owner rather than through a real estate agent or brokerage.

In real estate listings, GAR (or gar) stands for “garage,” meaning that the listed property has a part of the house designated for car storage. Some listings may also use the abbreviations “att” (for attached garage), “det” (for detached garage), or “1C” or “2C” (for one-car or two-car garage).

GREEN is a special designation for real estate agents offered by the National Association of REALTORS®. It focuses on learning about issues of energy efficiency and sustainability in real estate as well as assisting clients in making informed choices about the resource-efficiency and performance of the homes they live in, sell, and buy.

GRI, or graduate Real Estate Agent institute, is a special designation for real estate agents offered by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Gross rent multiplier, or GRM, is a method for calculating return on investment in which investors look at the ratio of the property’s price against its annual gross income. This calculation helps determine how much time would need to pass before the property pays back the initial investment.

In real estate listings, HB stands for “half bath,” which means that the listed property has a bathroom with a toilet and sink (rather than an FB, or full bath, which also includes a bath or shower setup).

An HOA, or homeowners’ association, is a community organization that determines and enforces local rules known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions, or CC&Rs. In communities with HOAs, homeowners automatically become members of the association when they buy a local property and must pay monthly or yearly HOA dues, which the elected board of directors uses to make neighborhood improvements.

In real estate listings, HVAC stands for “heating, ventilating, and air conditioning,” meaning that the listed property has systems throughout the house for warming and cooling the air.

IRR, or internal rate of return, is a way to measure return on investment in which investors calculate their expected profit over a specific period of time, usually annually.

In real estate listings, MB stands for “master bedroom,” meaning that the listed property has a particular bedroom that is larger than the other bedrooms.

A multiple listing service, or MLS, is a database of homes for sale in a particular area. An MLS helps brokers find and compare properties for their clients, establish contractual offers, share information amongst each other, and gather the required information for home appraisals.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is an organization that offers certifications and special designations to increase real estate agents’ credibility.

NOI stands for “net operating income,” which is a way to measure return on investment that simply compares revenue against operating expenses.

NOO, or non-owner occupied, refers to a residence that a real estate investor purchases without intending to live in it themselves.

LOC stands for “line of credit,” typically referring to an investment property line of credit, which is a short-term financing option that homebuyers can use to purchase or renovate properties.

LLC, or limited liability company, refers to any kind of organized company that serves as a barrier between legal proceedings and a business owner. For example, in real estate, investors may choose to form an LLC when purchasing or selling investment properties.

LTV stands for “loan to value,” which is an assessment that compares the ratio of mortgage size to the appraised value of the property. Many lenders use the LTV ratio to determine the size of the mortgage they will offer to a borrower.

In real estate listings, LR stands for “living room,” meaning that the listed property has a room separate from a bedroom or kitchen, typically where occupants can gather and relax.

LSU or Loan Status Update. This is an important form that lenders send to the sellers throughout the purchase transaction to update them on the progress of the buyer’s loan.

NAR or National Association of REALTORS®. The National Association of REALTORS® is an American trade association for those who work in the real estate industry.

POA stands for “power of attorney”—in real estate, some buyers or sellers will extend power of attorney over to another person, who then has the authority to buy or sell the property for them.

POF or Proof of Funds is a document that demonstrates how much money a person or entity has available. When purchasing a home, you may need a POF to show the seller that you can cover the purchase costs of a home.

PMI, or private mortgage insurance, is a regular fee that lenders may require a borrower to pay to ensure they won’t default on the loan. Lenders may require a borrower to apply for PMI if their down payment is especially small (usually less than 20 percent) or the loan is substantial.

REIT stands for “real estate investment trust,” which is a commercial organization that owns or funds properties that generate income.

Real estate owned (REO) refers to property owned by the lender rather than a homeowner. Typically, homes can become REO if they foreclose and then don’t sell at auction.

ROI stands for “return on investment.” In real estate, ROI refers to the profitability of a particular investment—a property with a high return on investment means that the owner saw a high profit after their initial purchase or renovation.

RPC or Residential Purchase Contract is a legal document with terms and conditions for a buyer’s purchase of property from a seller.

Rent to own, or RTO, is a renting structure that allows renters to make monthly payments with the eventual option of buying the property rather than simply paying rent.

SFH, or single-family home, refers to a free-standing property that houses one family rather than a multi-family structure like an apartment complex, condo building, or duplex.

SPDS or Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement. Arizona law requires the seller to disclose material important facts about their property, even if they are not asked by the buyer or a real estate agent. A Seller's Disclosure is a legal document that requires sellers to provide details about the property's condition to prospective buyers. This document is important for both those buying a house and for those selling a house.

VA or Veterans Affairs. A VA loan is a mortgage loan available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for service members, veterans, and their surviving spouses.

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