The Ultimate Real Estate Glossary
Top Glendale Ca Buyer’s Agents know that real estate jargon can be confusing for Glendale Ca home buyers and Glendale CA home sellers! We’ve broken out our Real Estate Glossary into sections related to each part of your process. Click on each term to jump to a specific section.
- Home Shopping – The ultimate decoder for real estate ads and websites
- Home Buying – So. Many. Legal. Terms. We translate them to plain English
- Mortgage –
- Home Selling
Home Shopping Definitions
Finding it hard to decode the ads and websites for home shoppers? We are Top Glendale CA Buyer’s Agents and we are here to help.
A – C
Active or Available – status – property has no offers.
Agent – a person holding a license to sell real estate in California. This is not the same thing as a Realtor.
Agent Representation – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Dual Agent
Back Up or Contingent – status- An offer (contract) has been accepted by all parties, but the buyer has contingencies that could collapse the deal. The seller is looking for a “runner up” (back up offer) in case the first buyer walks away.
Back On The Market (BOM) – There had been an accepted purchase contract, but it fell apart. Property is now completely available for a new contract.
Broker’s Caravan – weekly event when the brokers and agents tour each other’s listings- new, recently reduced or back on the market.
Broker – This person has a “higher” license status. Theoretically, they have more experience, knowledge, and responsibility.
Buyer’s Agent – An agent or broker with a fiduciary duty to represent a buyer’s interests. Obviously, you want a Top Glendale CA Buyer’s Agent, right? (How does a Buyer’s Agent get paid?)
Buyer’s Representation Agreement – a written, binding, contract listing the responsibilities and commitments of the buyer’s agent.
Company – (Brokerage) The holding entity for brokers, agents, and staff. Companies and brokerages are not people, they are a collection of people.
Condo – A multi-family complex where units can be above and below each other.
D – H
Days on Market (DOM) – A count of how many days the home has been on the market
Distress or Distressed Sale – When ownership is threatened by missed mortgage or property payments, liens or judgments
Dual Agent – an agent or broker representing both buyer and seller.
Floor Agent – the agent answering calls from ads or signs.
Foreclosure – After the homeowner goes through the entire cycle of financial distress the bank may take over, or foreclose, the home.
Home Owner Association (HOA) – The entity that represents the interests of the entire condo or townhouse complex.
I – M
In Escrow, In Contract – A purchase contract has been accepted and the buyer is in the purchasing process
Internet Portals – third-party services like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and more. They get their raw information from the MLS.
Listing Agent – or Seller’s Agent – the agent or broker representing the homeowner.
Multiple List System (MLS) – the system Realtors use to hold current and historical information on their listings. Think of it as the originating source for the real estate internet portals
Open House – when a homeowner allows their home to be open for viewing during a specific date and time. (Best Questions To Ask at an Open House)
Open House Host – the person at the open house. Do not assume this person is licensed, the listing agent or even a representative of the listing company.
P – T
Pending – a purchase contract has been accepted and the seller is not entertaining any other offers.
Short Sale – Homeowner owes more to the bank than they can clear from the sale of the home. The bank must agree to be “shorted” the money they are owed.
Showing Agent – Not always a licensed agent. They just show homes.
Single Family Residence (SFR) – a parcel of land and buildings belonging to one owner.
Sold, Closed – The home has a new owner
Square Foot – the living space as reported to the tax assessor. This does not include garage, basements, outbuildings or unpermitted space
Status (of property) – a series of terms describing availability.
Home Buying Definitions
Once you find a home you need to figure out how to buy it. Most of these terms are on the California Residential Purchase Agreement, the only contract a Top Glendale Ca Buyer’s Agent would use.
A – B
Appraisal Contingency – The bank will choose your appraiser. If that appraiser disagrees with the sales price you might not have to buy the home.
As-Is or Present Condition – The home is sold in present condition. If the buyer wants something fixed they have to ask and the homeowner has to agree.
Bidding War – This is the same as the multiple counter offer. The seller gives a counter offer to more than one party at the same time.
Binding Arbitration – A way to resolve disputes without a lengthy court battle.
Buyer Credits – The seller credits money during escrow for repairs or closing costs. This credit lowers the amount of money the buyer must bring to close the escrow
Closing Costs (Recurring) – Your mortgage, insurance, and property taxes are prorated as of the day you close escrow and collected at the close of escrow.
Closing Cost (Non-Recurring) – These are costs of doing business and only happen one time. They include appraisal, mortgage title, and escrow fees among others.
Close of Escrow – This is the day your name is recorded as the new owner of the property!! It’s also the day your mortgage and taxes begin.
Contingency – Think of this is a “get out of the deal” with no penalties card. There are three normal contingencies, loan, appraisal, and physical inspection.
Contingency Removal – Contingencies are removed in writing, they don’t get removed by the passing of a deadline. When you remove a contingency the contract can proceed toward the close of escrow
Convey– Think of this as “included with purchase”. This can be physical things as well as conditions on your title (like an easement)Counter Offer – The seller is saying, “I agree to everything in your offer except________”. Nothing is agreed until the last counter offer is signed by all parties
D – F
Disclosure – A document that tells you information about the home and community. This is not a binding contract, it is important information.
Down Payment – The money you contribute toward the sales price. The rest of the sales price is typically borrowed from the bank.
Dual Agency – When the same broker represents both buyer AND seller in a single transaction. This is legal in California.
Escrow – A third party that executes the terms of the written contract. They hold money and pay out money exactly as it says in the contract.
Federal Housing Authority (FHA) – Loans backed by the FHA for people with low down payments and/or lower credit scores.
Fiduciary Duty – A legal term that means we have to look after your interests as if they were our own.
Fixture – Objects that are permanently attached to the home or grounds. Lights that are hard-wired as opposed to plugged in are a good example.
H – L
Home Inspection – A specialized contractor examines accessible mechanical, structural and landscape aspects of the home and grounds. Other systems specific insections are also available.
Home Warranty – A third party company- think of them as an insurance company that will fix or replace things for one year after the close of escrow.
Initial Deposit – The money you agree to wire into escrow when the seller accepts your offer. You have three days wire the money and the amount is typically 3% of the purchase price. The amount relates to Liquidated Damages.
Inspection Contingency – The home might be sold “as-is” but if the buyer discovers something they don’t like they can cancel the sale.
Liquidated Damages – If you cancel the sale, the seller might blame you if they lose money. However, the California Code limits the money (or damages) a seller can recover to no more than 3% of the purchase price.
Loan Contingency – If your loan is not approved by your lender the loan contingency allows you to cancel the purchase without penalty.
M – P
Multiple Counter Offer – When a seller gives a counter offer to more than one party. The seller must sign any counteroffer response before there is a binding contract.
Natural Hazards Report – California Law requires the seller to tell you if the property is located in any zone of natural hazards
Personal Property – Objects that are not permanently attached to the home or property. This includes some appliances like refrigerators and washers and dryers.
Possession – The buyer typically gets possession on the day and time title records. The contract can specify different possession terms, but all parties must agree in writing.
Purchase Contract (Residential Purchase Contract (RPA)) – this is the operating document for the entire transaction. It spells out who does what and when in great detail.
Proration – Each party will pay their own portion of any recurring costs based on the day escrow closes.
S – Z
Title Insurance – This ensures that the buyer is left with a clean title after closing of escrow.
VA Loan – This is a loan underwritten by the Veteran’s Administration. It allows for 0% down payment among other benefits and is only available to vets.