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Understanding Basic Real Estate Terms: An Introductory Guide

Reblogger Joe Jackson
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty 277320

Understanding basic real estate terms is essential for anyone entering the market. This guide breaks down key concepts like 'escrow,' 'appraisal,' and 'contingency,' making the buying or selling process less intimidating. Familiarizing yourself with these terms can empower you to make informed decisions and navigate transactions with confidence.


Have a super fantastic week!
Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP

Original content by Hugh Grant

Navigating the real estate market can be like learning a new language. From “escrow” to “equity”, the jargon can be daunting for first-time homebuyers and seasoned investors alike. This guide is designed to demystify some of the most common real estate terms you will encounter, ensuring you're well-prepared to engage in your property transactions with confidence.


Imagine you're buying a house, and both you and the seller are looking for a guarantee that the transaction will go as planned – this is where escrow comes in. It acts as a neutral third party that holds something of value (often the buyer's earnest money check) until all conditions of the sale are met. Escrow ensures that neither party gets short changed during the transaction process, making it a fundamental component in the buying and selling of property.


An easement is a legal right to use someone else’s land for a specific, limited purpose. Suppose you buy a property that does not have direct access to a road – if the only way to reach your property is to drive through a neighbour’s driveway, you might have an easement. Easements are important to understand because they can affect your rights to a property and how you can use it.


An encumbrance refers to any claim or liability attached to a property, which may restrict its use or transferability. This can include liens, outstanding loans, or restrictions in a deed limiting what can be done on the property. Understanding encumbrances is crucial as they can influence the property’s value and your ability to sell it in the future.


Equity is a term that reflects the financial stake an owner has in a property. It is the difference between the market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage. As you pay down the mortgage, your equity increases. If the property’s market value rises, so does your equity. For many, building equity in a home is a key step towards financial security.

Subject to Finance

When making an offer on a property, it's common to include certain conditions that must be met for the transaction to proceed. One crucial condition is subject to finance – this condition means that the purchase depends on your ability to secure financing from a bank or other lending institution. It is essentially a safety net that ensures you are not legally bound to purchase the property if you cannot obtain the necessary funds.

Navigate the real estate process with full peace of mind

Understanding these terms not only empowers you to navigate the real estate market more effectively, but also enhances your ability to make informed decisions about your property investments. Whether you are buying your first home or adding to your investment portfolio, a solid grasp of real estate terminology can provide a significant advantage.

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George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Joe Jackson this also applies to the lending industry.  We have more than our share of terms.

May 21, 2024 03:09 PM
Bo Zivak
Zivak Realty Group - Nashville, TN
Nashville Real Estate Broker

This is good information to share. Have a great day and a very productive week.

May 24, 2024 12:29 AM