Real Estate Terminology

The housing market from A-Z.

Housing Market TerminologyWhen searching for home sweet home, you want to know what you’re looking at. What should you expect from the looming house sitting in front of you? You may be led around your potential dream home hearing complex and confusing words as you try to decide whether to make an offer or not. First things first, don’t be afraid to ask your REALTOR to clarify a term you may not be comfortable with. Here are a list of good-to-know words to familiarize yourself with before your next showing.

Appraisal
A procedure in which a qualified individual estimates the value of a piece of property.

Closing 
A final meeting in which the transfer of title of property passes from the seller to the buyer.

Closing Costs
The costs associated with the closing. These fees include title search, insurance, attorney fees, survey, and points charged by the lender. These costs are also referred to settlement costs.

Deed
A written document that transfers ownership of a property to another individual.

Depreciation
Loss of value by regular wear and tear.

Equity
The difference between the market value of a property and the balance that is owed on the mortgage.

Lease
A written agreement that grants the occupancy of a property in exchange for rent.

Lien
A claim upon property for payment of a debt.

Market value
The highest price that a buyer will pay as well as the lowest price a seller will accept for a property.

Mortgage
A legal document that specifies a certain amount of money to purchase a home at a certain interest rate; the mortgage uses the property as collateral.

Refinance
The process of paying off an existing loan with proceeds from another loan.

Survey
The measurement of a piece of land in order to determine boundaries, size, and location.

Title
Written evidence that an individual has the right to ownership of a property.

Title Insurance
A policy that protects a buyer against damage or loss that results from a defective title.

Zoning
A procedure that classifies property for certain uses. This includes residential, commercial, and industrial.

Armed with the proper knowledge, you’ll come away with a house that you can turn into a home!

The Minnesota Association of REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.

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