Entering the world of real estate can be very exciting, but often times understanding the terminology can be complicated. The following is a list of 10 common terms or phrases associated with the real estate process.
  1. Appraisal: A home appraisal is a survey of a home by a licensed professional for his or her opinion of the property's value, i.e., what a home will likely sell for on the open market. In most cases, an appraisal is done for a bank when a home buyer is applying for a home loan.
  2. Commission: Commission is the compensation or fee that a real estate agent charges for performing the agreed-upon terms under a brokerage contract.
  3. Closing: Closing, or settlement, is the final step in completing a real estate transaction. The closing date usually takes place several weeks after an offer is formally accepted.
  4. Existing Home Sales: Existing home sales is an economic indicator of both the number and prices of single-family homes, condos and co-op sales over a one-month period - this figure does not include new construction.
  5. Home Appreciation:Home appreciation is the increase in value of a property over a period of time.
  6. Home Equity: Home equity is the value of ownership in a home that represents the current market value of the house, minus any remaining mortgage payments.
  7. Home Inspection: Home inspection is a visual inspection of the structure and components of a home by a qualified professional to find items that are not performing correctly or are unsafe.
  8. Housing Market: The housing market refers to the supply and demand for houses in a particular country or region. Factors that affect the housing market include interest rates, the mortgage industry, economic growth, income, unemployment rates and population demographic trends.
  9. Inventory: Housing inventory is the number of existing homes available for sale each month.
  10. Independent Real Estate Agent: An independent real estate agent is a professionally trained and licensed real estate expert who may choose to affiliate with a real estate company and is involved in real estate sales and transactions like myself.
I am here to help make the process less daunting, and one way is to help get over the hurdle of real estate jargon. I'm happy to answer any additional questions you might have about real estate terms or the home buying process in general.