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Common Real Estate Terms - Remerica Hometown REALTORS

When you're buying a new home, especially if it's your first, you may find yourself inundated in terminology and trade jargon used by your lender, your real estate agent, or others helping make your home purchase a reality. And while it may seem commonplace to people in the industry, to you as a buyer, those terms can seem ambiguous and confusing.  

Fortunately, Our REALTORS® know exactly what goes on during the buying process and know just the real estate terms you need to get through the buying experience with ease.

  • Buyer's Agent/Listing Agent
    A real estate agent represents either a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction. Naturally, the real estate agent for the buyer is known as the buyer's agent, but the more ambiguous term is the listing agent, who represents the seller. While using the term "seller's agent" is acceptable, use "listing agent" to be technically correct.

  • Pre-Qualification/Pre-Approval
    Pre-qualification and pre-approval are terms used generally by lenders to state your status as a borrower for a line of credit. Typically, you'll apply for a mortgage, get pre-approved for a line of credit for which you can use to shop for homes in that price range. Once a contract is signed, your lender will fine-tune the final lending amount.

  • Inspection
    You, as the buyer, are typically responsible for the inspection side of things in a home transaction. Usually, within 10 days of signing a contract, you must bring in an inspector to check the house. An inspector's job is to find any structural, mechanical, or safety problems within the home. From the inspector's report, you will then work with the listing agent and seller to find solutions to rectify any problems.

  • Contingencies
    Contingencies are pretty self-explanatory. If the home inspection turns up something that should be fixed or remedied, then you may demand that the sale of the home is "contingent" upon those things being repaired or fixed satisfactorily. Your real estate agent can help a great deal in this area as they can negotiate on your behalf to make sure things are fixed or corrected in a professional, legal, and satisfactory way.

  • Appraisal
    An appraisal is typically one of the final steps in a real estate transaction. Once the paperwork for the home has been completed, the lending bank will bring in a third-party appraiser to evaluate the home and give it a fair market value. Typically, as long as the appraiser's value of the home lands close to the sales price of the home, then the transaction is all but done. In rare cases, the bank may need to adjust your loan or you may end up with a little equity to boot!

  • Closing/Closing Costs
    Closing is truly the final step in a real estate transaction. During closing, a title company will handle all of the legal matters with the final sale of the home including making sure the title on the house is clean and there are no underlying legal issues that could affect the buyer or seller. Part of closing is paying closing costs, which include your down payment, title insurance, and any other fees associated with your loan or the sale of the home.

If you're new to the Ann Arbor area and you're looking for Ann Arbor homes for sale, then look no further than Remerica Hometown Realtors. Contact us today to get in touch with a REALTOR® to see our current inventory of homes!