MLS: The Multiple Listing Service. This is where the inventory of homes for sale, with offers or sold are listed by real estate agents. We send out new listing alerts from FLEXMLS.
Real Estate Agent or Realtor: The word Realtor is a trademark referring to someone who’s an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and abides by Its Code of Ethics. A real estate agent is licensed to help consumers buy and sell property. But not all real estate agents are Realtors
Buyer’s Agent: A real estate agent under contract with a buyer to represent the buyer during the home buying process
Seller’s Agent: A real estate agent that represents the seller in a home buying transaction
Listing Agent: A real estate agent under contract with a seller to list and sell a house. Listing Agent can not be a Buyer’s Agent.
Pre Qualification: This is based on only limited information provided to a lender. It’s usually a quick process that doesn’t even require meeting with the lender or a review of your credit report.
Pre Approval: A more complex process that requires submitting a formal loan application and providing extensive documentation regarding your financial situation to a lender. Sellers prefer pre approval letters.
Offer to Purchase: Becomes a contract as soon as both parties mutually agree to all terms, sign and deliver signed documents as per the delivery dates on the Offer to Purchase. Buyers can only make one Offer on a house at a time. A Seller can look at multiple offers at one time.
Real estate Transaction: From offer to closing. A real estate transaction is the process whereby rights in a unit of property (or designated real estate) is transferred between two or more parties, e.g. in case of conveyance one party being the seller(s) and the other being the buyer(s).
Counter Offer: This is generated by a party to the Offer to Purchase where one or more terms aren’t agreeable. A counteroffer revises the initial offer and makes it more desirable for the person making the new offer. This type of offer permits a person to decline a previous offer and allows negotiations to continue. Be aware: during counter offer stage: Seller can accept another Offer during this time.
Multiple Counter Offer: This is actually called a Multiple Counter Proposal. It allows the Seller to make counter offers to multiple buyers at the same time. Multiple Buyers can accept the proposal. It then becomes an accepted offer once the SELLER selects and signs only one of the buyer’s signed proposals.
Binding Acceptance: In general, an offer becomes a contract when both parties have signed an identical offer and have made delivery per the contract by a specified date.
Amendment: Both parties must mutually agree to change one of the original terms of an offer with the use of an Amendment. Such as closing date, contingency date extension, price, etc.
Real Estate Condition Report: A Seller form to disclose any defects that seller is aware of. This list of defects (if any) should be taken into account when making an offer.
Earnest Money: Deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s good faith in a transaction. Typically held in a trust or escrow account. This is credited back to the Buyer at closing on the closing statement
Contingencies: A condition or action that must be completed/satisfied by a certain date before the sale of home can close. Home Inspection, Appraisal, Financing, etc
Closing Date: The Date the buyer and seller agree to close on the sale of the house and all contingencies have been met. “MOVE IN” Day.
HOA: A Home Owner’s Association is an organization that makes and enforces rules for the properties within the Subdivision. These types of properties may have HOA fees associated with them. These fees are typically used to maintain the common areas such as roads, parks, out lots etc. Active HOA’s have restrictions and rules.
Condo Docs: A variety of documents which establish a condominium and regulate living in a condo community with certain rules & restrictions.
Assessment (Assessed Value): This is the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes for the municipality. Assessed valuation determines the value of a residence for tax purposes.
Appraisal (Appraised Value): This is an evaluation of a property’s value based on a given point in time completed by a licensed appraiser. Typically, an appraisal is done during the mortgage origination process and ordered by the Buyer’s lender.
CMA (Comparative Market Analysis): This is a valuation based on similar, recently sold homes (called comparable’s or “Comps”) in the same neighborhood. A CMA is not the same as an Appraisal which is performed by a licensed appraiser.
DOM: Days on Market. This is the total days from the date the house was first listed for sale.
Escrow: In some parts of the country – home sale closings happen in “escrow”. That does not happen here. Escrow in Wisconsin means that money is held at the Trust Company after closing for items that will be taken care of past closing. For example, a roof will be replaced and paid for after closing.
Title (Title Insurance): Declares who has legal ownership and the right to use a piece of property. A Title company does a search to make sure there are no additional liens or other issues that would cause a delay in conveying clear title to the property.
Deed: A property deed is a written and signed legal instrument that is used to transfer ownership of real property from the old owner (the grantor) to the new owner (the grantee)
Closing Cost Credit: A closing cost credit is simply money given from a seller to
a buyer at closing (or vice versa). A closing cost credit allows a buyer to avoid using their own cash. By having a seller pay for closing costs it allows a buyer not to deplete their funds
when buying a home.
Home Inspection: The examination of the property’s condition performed by a licensed home inspector.