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Our Top 27 Real Estate Terms Defined

Real Estate Broker/Owner with PRODUCER Realty, LLC

The Real Estate process can be confusing, and sometimes stressful to understand. Whether it's your first time working with a real estate agency, or you'd just like a better understanding- we've compiled a (growing) list of real estate vocabulary that you can get familiar with!

1.) Under Contract 

This is when the seller has accepted an offer from a buyer but the sale hasn't been completed. While a property is under contract, this typically means the seller is not allowed to enter a contract with any other buyer.

2.) Closing Costs

Closing costs are a variety of expenses such as attorney fees, taxes, and housing expenses. These costs are usually paid at the closing of every real estate transaction.

3.) Pre-Approval

This is a pre-qualification for a loan or mortgage. It's the last step before final approval and makes it easier when negotiating with a seller. Pre-approval tells what costs may be and how much money you're able to borrow.

4.) Assessed Value

This is the estimation of your property/home's worth.

5.) Transfer of Ownership

This is the transfer of property from one owner to another. Once you have ownership, you have the rights over that property.

6.) Refinancing

This is when an individual or business revises the payment schedule, interest rate, and/or terms of a previous credit agreement.

7.) Appraisal

This is an unbiased valuation of a property. The appraiser will then create a report and generate the property's value.

8.) Loan Officer

Loan officers usually work for commercial banks, mortgage companies, or credit unions. They assist borrowers during the application process and verify all required financial documents.

9.) Seller Disclosure

This is usually several pages long and outlines known issues with a property such as leaks and defective appliances. It's required by the seller.

10.) Offer

An offer is a formal written bid from the buyer to the seller to purchase a home. This is a key element in a binding contract. 

11.) Equity

The amount of money you receive after paying off a mortgage if you were to sell your home.

12.) Deed

A legal document regarding the ownership of a property.

13.) HOA (Homeowner's Association)

An organization that enforces rules and regulations on properties and their residents.

14.) Title

A title shows legal ownership to a property or asset.

15.) Short Sale

A home offered at a price less than the amount owed by its current owner. This is typically great for the buyer, but could make the moving process longer.

16.) Purchase Agreement

A binding agreement that outlines the pricing and terms of a real estate agreement. This is usually received after mutual acceptance on an offer.

17.) Mortgage

A loan where property or real estate is used as collateral. This is one of the largest loans a person will encounter and it enables an individual to purchase a home of their own.

18.) Down Payment

A down payment is an initial purchase payment. It shows the bank you're able to repay the amount financed to the lender and seller.

19.) Home Inspection

An examination of the condition of a real estate property. This usually includes the home's heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical systems, etc. A home inspection helps the buyer make an informed decision on whether to buy or not.

20.) Escrow

This is when a third party holds on to something of value during a transaction. 

21.) Inspection

This is when a licensed professional inspector visits a home and prepares a report. This is so buyers can assess whether they'd like to make a purchase or not.

22.) VA Loan

This is a government loan by the Department of Veteran Affairs. It's available to the military, active and retired, and sometimes spouses.

23.) Proof of Funds

After making an offer, sellers require you to submit proof of funds. This shows you have money available for your down payment and closing costs. Proof of funds could be anything from bank statements to an open line of credit.

24.) Backup Offer

When a buyer would like to purchase a property already under contract with someone else. There can only be one offer and it still has to be negotiated.

25.) Blind Offer

When a buyer makes an offer on a home they haven't seen yet.

26.) As-Is

This is when sellers sell a home without making any changes or modifications.

27.) Counteroffer

When a buyer makes an offer, the seller makes another. This is called a counteroffer. Both parties will have to meet in the middle.


If you are interested in gaining more knowledge concerning the Greater Greenville SC area market, we're only a call away. Whether you are a home buyer, investor, or interested in placing your current property on the market, our team can not only inform you, but also make your transaction a profitable one. Feel free to contact our team at (864) 438-5050 or visit us at www.GreenvilleRealEstateHub.com

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Victor Amadi, REALTOR® | Broker-In-Charge | CDPE | CHSA
Office:     864-438-5050   
Cell:        864-525-0201
Fax:        1-800-860-0993
Email:     Victor@ProducerRealty.com
Location: 425 N. Main Street, Suite C
                Simpsonville, SC 29681