Real Estate Lingo & Acronyms

Real Estate Lingo and Acronyms

Realtors often use jargon or acronyms that are unfamiliar to first-time buyers. Below are some common terms to get you up to speed.

4B/2B: Refers to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The first (4B) being the number of bedrooms and the last (2B) being the number of bathrooms. This term can be modified to the number of bed/baths in any home. For example, if there is a home with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, you would call it a 5B/4B

Appraisal: A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby.

Assumable Mortgage: A mortgage that can be assumed by the buyer when a home is sold. Usually, the borrower must “qualify” in order to assume the loan.

Balloon Mortgage: A mortgage loan that requires the remaining principal balance be paid at a specific point in time. For example, a loan may be amortized as if it would be paid over a thirty year period, but requires that at the end of the tenth year the entire remaining balance must be paid.

Closing Costs: This is the entire package of miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when the real estate deal closes. These costs include the brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney’s settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees, title insurance and so on. Closing costs are generally paid through escrow.

CMA (Competitive market analysis): A CMA is a report that shows prices of homes that are comparable to a subject home and that were recently sold, are currently on the market or were on the market, but not sold within the listing period.

Contingency: A provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met.

Foreclosure: The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.

Gar: Refers to a garage

HDW, HWF, Hdwd: Refers to hardwood floors

Listing: A provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met.

Lock Box: A locked key-holding device affixed to a for-sale home so real estate professionals can gain entry into the home after obtaining permission from the listing agent

Short Sale: A process that is often used by homeowners who are trying to avoid getting caught up in a foreclosure. Short sales are an option homeowners use when the bank, credit union or other types of lenders they have borrowed from provides them with the option of selling their home to a third party at a price that is much lower than what they actually still owe on the note of their home loan.

Info provided by, Move Inc., and Real Estate ABC

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