Terminology around buying and selling real estate can be very complicated. It’s important to understand the process and all the elements involved so your deal is as good as you can make it. Whether you are just beginning to sell your home or there are offers on the table, you should be well prepared for anything. As part of Financial Literacy Month, here are 5 key real estate terms you need to know.
5 Key Real Estate Terms
Concessions is an important term at the negotiating table. The potential buyer may ask for concessions such as having the seller pay all or part of their closing costs. This is a good tool to have as a counter offer. If your buyer wants a lower purchase price and you don’t want to move on it, offering other concessions can keep them interested. Other concessions could include appliances or agreeing to do some repair work on the home.
If there are contingencies in a real estate deal, that means the offer has been accepted by both parties pending the results of a home inspection, appraisal or financing for the buyer. There are contingencies in an offer to protect the buyer and seller. In a hot market, sometimes the buyer will wave all contingencies to make their offer more appealing even with the risk of a bad home inspection.
The owner of the home must disclose major issues in a disclosure statement. In most states, things like a leaky roof, lead paint or other structural issues need to be revealed to the buyer. If a problem surfaces that goes unreported by the seller but is known to them, they could face legal action. While certain issues in a disclosure statement might chase potential buyers away, it’s important to protect yourself legally.
Real Estate Brokers and Agents
In most states, real estate brokers are more equipped or experienced than real estate agents. They have gone through additional training beyond what real estate agents do. Brokers don’t always work directly with clients. Real estate agents are a great resource for both buyers and sellers that will work directly with you.
When you are selling your home, an important part is the staging. A well staged home can show buyers how much potential your home really has for them- not how you have lived there so far. Once your home is staged well, take photos to truly showcase how great it is! Here are some tips on staging:
- Clear out as much clutter as possible- around the house and in your closets
- Remove excessive family photos and memorabilia
- Keep it sparkling clean
- Hide your furry family members- pets are not a selling feature
- Spruce up curb appeal
- Paint over any loud or vibrant colors with neutrals
Applying these staging tips as well as understanding the other four real estate terms will go a long way. Financial literacy extends throughout industries and practices, including real estate, personal finances, investing and retirement. Make sure you understand the principles surrounding whatever financial arena you are entering.
Are there other real estate terms that you have found confusing? What did you do to figure them out?