Real Estate Terminology

Buying and selling a home is an exciting process, but sometimes it can seem like you are entering a world with a language all its own.

A good realtor will be by your side explaining things every step of the way, but occasionally you may find yourself looking around on your own wondering what a certain term or acronym stands for. We would hate for you to feel lost so we’ve compiled a quick list of terms with their definitions that can help you navigate a listing when your realtor may not be right by your side to explain things.

AC: Air Conditioning

ACH: Active Contingent on House Closing means that an offer has been made and accepted but if the buyer’s own home does not sell the contract will be void. Back up offers are often accepted in this case and the first buyer typically has 48 – 72 hours to waive their contingency.

ACM: Active Contingent Miscellaneous means that an offer has been made and accepted but there is a stipulation that the deal may fall through if certain conditions are not met.

BPO: Broker Price Opinion is what a broker in the area believes a home to be worth based on the current market and what your home has to offer characteristically. Getting a BPO can be extremely beneficial in knowing what (if any) updates or repairs would need to be made to make a house market ready.

CD: Closing Disclosure, this is a form that provides the final details about the closing costs, mortgage the buyer has chosen and the cashier’s check amount the buyer must bring to closing. Or in the case of the seller, what the payout will be after all closing costs and mortgages are paid.

CMA: This stands for ‘comparative market analysis’ which is a report that will show you prices of properties recently sold or currently on the market that are similar to your own. This report helps you and your realtor to know if your home is priced correctly for the current market.

CNT: Contingent means that an offer has been made on a home and it has been accepted. The final sale of the home however is dependent on certain criteria being met. It could be an appraisal, home inspections, a mortgage approval or any number of other things.

DOM: Days on Market, how long a home has been for sale.

FML: Formal

FP: Fireplace

FSBO: ‘For Sale By Owner,’ which means that the owner of the home is not working with a realtor to sell the home.

HOA: Home Owners Association, an HOA is an association that is formed by a developer to manage how homes in an area are kept. There can be fees associated with this and/or a list of requirements for homes in a certain neighborhood.

LL: Lower Level

The MLS is the ‘Multiple Listing Service.’ This is the service that agents have access to with all current listings and their information. These are local or can be regional and are not open for public consumption. Only licensed agents have access to the information. This is updated before any of the common websites people like to visit to view homes. It allows agents to know as soon as a home enters the market or is under contract.

3B/2B: 3 Bedroom/2 Bathroom, the numbers will vary based on how many bedrooms and bathrooms a home has, but the first number will always be the bedrooms and the second will always be for bathrooms.

NAR: National Association of Realtors

OH: Open House

PED: Pending, which means that an offer has been made and accepted, but it has not yet closed. Any contingencies are met or are waived and the house listing is no longer active.

RASE: Realtors Association of the Sioux Empire

SQ/FT or SF: Square Foot, how many square feet of finished living space the home has.

W/D: Washer/Dryer

WIC: Walk in Closet

WO: Walk Out

There are hundreds of other terms that may come up when buying or selling a home. This list is only a start, and hopefully it will give you a little more confidence when looking at listings. Having an experienced and trustworthy agent to help you with the process can make the terminology much less intimidating. We are always here to help walk you through the process.

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