Deciphering Real Estate Lingo

Deciphering Real Estate Lingo

Cryptography: the art of writing or solving codes. This term sounds oh so familiar when trying to understand real estate lingo. Unfamiliar abbreviations and odd jumbles of words put together that simply mean "Sold," "Closing," or "We need all of your pay stubs and W-2s."

Fear no more! Below we have deciphered some of the most used abbreviations and words that are used in the real estate world. Whether you are browsing the internet or in the process of buying and/or selling a home, this will come in handy!


A contract on a home that is pending until inspections and attorney reviews have happened

ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage)

A type of mortgage loan that is linked to the economic index in regards to the interest rate. Typically the periods are 1, 3, 5 and 7 years

APR ( Annual Percentage Rate)

Basically this is the amount of costs that are incurred at closing time such as closing fees, interest rates, etc. In other words, spreading out multiple payments over periods of time


A document that is provided in which gives an "opinion" of the value that your home is worth at the time


The property is being sold as is. The seller will not do any repairs or correct any problems that arise. (homes that are being sold as-is are usually great flippers for investors or for anyone that loves history, charm & vintage homes)

Broker's Tour

Specific times and days that only licensed real estate agents can preview a home that is for sale. Usually lunch or special giveaways are provided as an incentive!

Carrying Costs

Costs that you take on once you purchase a home (utilities, homeowners insurance, taxes, maintenance, etc.)

CMA (Competitive Market Analysis)

A detailed report for potential sellers that includes information based on the current market and surrounding neighborhoods, homes that have recently sold, statistics that show the rise and fall over the months/years etc.


Federal, state, county and local requirements through a document that are provided by the seller to the buyer (Lead, Radon, & Residential Real Property Disclosures)

Dual Agent

A real estate professional who represents both the buyer and the seller during the transaction of the home selling/buying process

Earnest Money

When an offer is made, the seller requests a deposit of money from the buyer (typically in 2 payments) as a sign of "good faith"

Fee Simple

You will see this normally with homes that are in neighborhoods that do not have to pay an association fee. Rules and regulations do not apply to fee simple homes unlike homes that are a part of a homeowners association.


Federal Housing Administration


U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Managing Broker

A licensed real estate professional that manages the daily operations of a real estate office. AKA the broker of record.

MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

A website that only licensed real estate agents can access. This is where most of the information that you see on popular websites pull from. Agents are able to pull tax records, property history, and all of the details on any property that has ever been listed.

Open House

Public viewings of a home that is listed for sale. Typically you will see these on the weekend!

PIN (Parcel Identification Number)

The number that is used for tracking in regards to taxes. Think of it as your social security number!


U.S. Department of Veterans Affair


Before closing on a property and/or renting a walk through is always important! This allows you to take one last look at everything before you close on the home. Anything could happen, so this is a very important procedure to follow!

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Marco Amidei
Marco Amidei
(888) 32-Marco (847) 630-4886

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