Key Real Estate Terms for First-Time Buyers

I'm new to the real estate scene.  There, I said it.  That's the first step right? It wasn't until a year ago that I started looking at houses around Nashville.  Luckily, I had a good agent (hint: he works here at House Realty). 

But the way I threw myself into this industry is probably how a lot you readers did.  You just jumped and had no idea what on earth you were doing.  You probably thought it would be super easy to just pick a house you liked off of a google search.  WRONG.

Obviously, it's harder then that.  I know that now and you should too.  That's why I'm here to throw some general real esate terms at you and see if they stick.  They might, they might not.  But either way, at least you won't be like me and think your agent is speaking like your 10th grade foreign language teacher.

  1. Due Diligence- This is a time period the buyer might have, depending on what's in the purchase agreement, to hire experts and look at the property further.  They can inspect the property in greater detail, which can sometimes lead to a counter offer, or termination of the the deal all together. So do your due diligence!
  2. Closing Costs- Just when you thought you were finally ready to move in, more money comes into play.  Closing costs are fees that are in addition to the final price of the home.  This doesn't include the down payment.  This could be a fee for anything like title insurance or excise tax.
  3. Pre-Approval Letter- Remember that permission slip in grade school your parents would write you to get you out of school early?  A pre-approval letter is a lot like that, only you aren't 11.  Instead, you're an adult that's about to spend a good chunk of change on a house!  Are you wondering why you couldn't wait to grow up now?   Anyway, this letter is what you would get from the bank.  They make an estimate of how much they'll lend you, and it insures your agent that you will get the loan you need to go through with a sale.
  4. Listings- I think as we continue the terms get easier.  Like I said, real estate terms can feel like a foriegn language. You'll hear the word "listings" a lot.  It just means the house is for sale.  You'll find a ton of them online with a quick google search. Or, you could find them on our website, or with one of our agents...  I think I like the last idea best!
  5. Closing- We talked closing costs, so lets close this blog out with "closing." See what I did there?  Anyway, closing is your end goal.  The last stepping stone to your new home.  It's when the sale is considered final and all parties' signatures are are on all documents.  That's when you get access to your new property and are officially a HOMEOWNER.  

Again, these are just some quick terms that I learned when I was going through the buying process.  Luckily, I had an agent that worked with me to help me understand what I was getting into.  There's no Rosetta Stone for real estate jargon, but there is this blog post, as well as other sites online that can help you as well. 

I'll be testing you all on this next week!  Class dismissed.

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