Comparative Market Analysis “CMA”: An evaluation of similar, recently sold homes that are near a home intended to be bought or sold. It is used to establish the current market value of the home.
Title Search: A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.
Escrow: A neutral third party or attorney that handles the exchange of money and documents once mutual acceptance is reached on an offer.
Earnest Money Deposit “EMD”: A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house. The EMD often goes towards closing costs or down payment upon closing.
Purchase and Sale Agreement “PSA”: The document received after mutual acceptance on an offer, which states the final sale price and all terms of the purchase.
Mutual Acceptance: The point when both the buyer and seller agree on the price and terms of a deal.
Signed Around: The point when both the buyer and seller have agreed to and signed a document.
Inspection: A thorough inspection for the buyer by a professional that evaluates the structural condition of a home.
Appraisal: A written estimation of the price for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby. This is done on behalf of the lender to determine how much they will lend for the purchase of the home.
Underwriter: An individual working for mortgage lenders who determines whether or not a borrower's loan is approved.
Pre-Approval: A letter from a lender or broker that confirms they've reviewed a buyer's finances and are willing to lend a specific amount of money to buy a home. It tells the buyer how much he or she can afford.
Pre-Qualification “Pre-Qual”: An informal and unverified estimation of how much a homebuyer can afford, not a guarantee of a loan.
Loan Officer “LO”: Representatives of banks, credit unions and other financial institutions that find and assist borrowers in acquiring loans.
Private Lender: A non-institutional (non-bank) individual or company that loans money, generally secured by a note and deed of trust, for the purpose of funding a real estate transaction.
Hard Money Lender “HML”: Lenders who are typically private individuals or small groups based on the property you are buying, and not on your credit score.
FHA Loan “FHA”: A loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Sometimes easier to get, but come with extra restrictions and requirements.
VA Loan “VA”: A loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration (VA) for veterans and current members of the US military. There are special benefits, but also certain restrictions to these loans.
Cash Buyer: A person who is able to buy something, especially a property, without needing to take out a mortgage or loan.
Listing Broker/Agent “LAG”: A real estate agent that helps homeowners sell their home. They list client homes on the MLS and negotiate the best possible price and terms for the home seller.
Selling Broker/Agent “SAG”: A real estate agent that represents buyers when they purchase a home. They help find possible homes, submit paperwork, and negotiate the best deal for the buyer.
For Sale By Owner “FSBO”: A home where the owner is selling without the services of a licensed real estate agent.
Make Me Move “MMM”: The price set by a homeowner that they would accept for their property without having to list the property as for sale.
Short Sale: A home that is listed for sale at a price lower than the amount owed on the mortgage, often with more than one mortgage on it.
Auction: Property that will be sold at a public forum, often Banks trying to sell off foreclosed homes.