Monday, July 13, 2015

Understanding "Realtor Speak"

Buying a house comes with a language all its own. Luckily, these key terms will help get you started. Still not sure about the meaning or importance of something? Ask your real estate professional to explain something more thoroughly. He or She lives, breathes and sleeps real estate, and will be able to help you out or point you in a direction of someone who can.

1. MLS

An MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, is an organization that provides the real estate community with products and services to facilitate the sale of properties and establish contractual offers of compensation. The term "MLS" also refers to the system that real estate professionals use to enter and access information.

Why is this important to you? Real estate professionals enter properties directly into the MLS, so the MLS includes the most accurate and up-to-date information. When you’re getting a list of properties for sale from your agent, you can trust whenever you view those properties that you are viewing the most recent status, price and information available for those properties.


Your agent and his or her colleagues “list” properties that are for sale in the MLS. A listing is simply one of these properties and all of the information that accompanies it. Typically, a listing includes basic information like the size of the house, bedrooms, bathrooms, acreage and taxes. It also includes Public Remarks, which tell you more about what the home has to offer, including information about the neighborhood, recent renovations and more.


Some listings have items marked as Inclusions and items marked as Exclusions. Inclusions are items the seller plans to include in the sale of the house; the exclusions are items the seller plans to take with them.

It’s best not to assume an appliance is included with the sale of the house. Always check or ask your agent to check the Inclusions and Exclusions to make sure you understand what you may need to purchase for your new home.


When you get further along in the process and find a home you really like, your agent may give you a document called a Seller’s Disclosure. This document includes all of the known defects and conditions on the property. It is filled out to the best of the seller’s knowledge, which is why if you consider buying the home it’s important you pay a professional to conduct a home inspection and look for potential issues with the home.

You’ve found your dream house and you’re ready to put in an offer. If you’re a big fan of the real estate TV shows you may expect this process to go something like this: you agree on a price, your agent makes a phone call and just a short while later you hear back that the house is yours. In reality, putting an offer in on a house requires a lot of paperwork, including the very important Agreement of Sale.

This document formally puts in writing your offer, the items included with the sale, the length of time before closing and more. While signing this form may be a bit overwhelming, listen to your agent and ask questions as you go