Learn The Lingo: Real Estate Vocabulary

Learn The Lingo: Real Estate Vocabulary

February 25, 2022

Buying your first home is a big moment in your life, and it can be intimidating to start the process. As a first time buyer, you may have a lot of questions, and going into this process alone is a risky undertaking. With the representation of a realtor, your questions will be answered and you can be sure that you’re making wise, informed decisions throughout the process. A realtor will make the transaction experience smoother and make sure you are getting the best value for your money, and you have access to their network of trusted professionals, from inspectors to lenders, and more.


Real estate lingo can sometimes feel like a foreign language. Below is a glossary of important terms that you should know when getting into the housing market for the first time. These are terms that you definitely will encounter, and I hope knowing how to speak the real estate language will give you some confidence in your search and negotiations.

Real Estate Vocabulary

1. Sales Contract

A sales contract can also be referred to as an offer, which is the agreement between the buyer and seller to purchase the property. 


2. Contingent

If an offer has been accepted but there are factors still remaining to be dealt with such as appraisals or inspections, then the sale is “contingent” upon those criteria. 


3. Closing Costs

Closing costs are the fees paid at the end of the transaction by either party in order to finalize the transaction such as taxes, insurance, and other expenses. 


4. Earnest Money

This is a deposit that can be made by the buyer to show good faith in their ability to purchase the property in full. 

5. Home Inspection

A home inspection observes and reports on the condition of a real estate property, usually when it is on the market to be sold. This will tell you if the home is safe to purchase and what needs work.

6. Title

The title is the bundle of rights to the piece of property and it proves the ownership of whoever holds the title. You will be given a preliminary version of the title to sign and accept and send back to the title company before recieving the final title.

7. Appraisal

An Appraisal is similar to a home inspection but instead an appraser will come and determine the market value of your property so that you can be armed with that knowledge during future negotiations.

8. Insurance

Insurance is very important as a homeowner, and is usually required by law. You will need to provide the information for your insurer to the lender, so make sure to get the best possible coverage for your money.

9. Under Contract

A home is under contract when the seller has accepted your offer, but the sale is not final yet, pending inspections and contingencies.

10. Signing

Signing is the process of putting your name to paper and taking ownership of the home from the previous owner after getting the okay to proceed from your lender.


If you are ready to embark on your first home search, contact me today! I will advocate for you and ensure you have the best experience possible. Call 205-999-3115 to start the conversation.

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