Understanding Real Estate Key Terms for Buyers and Sellers

Real estate can often be a confusing and complex process for buyers and sellers alike. The wide range of terms used in this field can sometimes make it intimidating to navigate through all the options, all the while keeping your financial interests in mind. 

However, the more you know and understand the key terms that encompass real estate, the better you can make the right decisions. In this blog post, we’ll go over a few of the key terms you should become familiar with when it comes to real estate transactions. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, this information can help you stay informed and confident as you navigate the process.

Closing Costs

Closing costs refer to all the fees and expenses that come with selling or buying a home. These can include appraisal fees, title fees, real estate agent commissions, and more. Buyers and sellers should both be aware of these costs so they can budget appropriately and avoid surprises. Typically, closing costs, excluding commissions, are between 2 to 4 percent of the total purchase price, so it’s important to be prepared for these expenses when you’re searching for your dream home.


Equity represents the amount of money that would be left over if you were to sell your home and pay off any remaining mortgages or liens. For example, if you have a home that is currently worth $500,000, and you currently owe $200,000, your equity in the property would be $300,000. Equity is an important consideration for homeowners who want to refinance their mortgage or take out a home equity loan.


A home inspection is an essential step in the home buying process. This is when an inspector checks to make sure that the home is safe and in good condition. During an inspection, the inspector will go through every part of the home and identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed. Buyers and sellers should both be present during the inspection so they can ask any questions they may have. This helps avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts later on.


An appraisal estimates the value of a home. This is typically required by a mortgage lender when a buyer is seeking financing. Appraisals are also important for sellers who want to price their home correctly when putting it on the market. Appraisers consider factors such as the location of the home, the current condition of the property, and market trends when determining the value of a home. In some cases, an appraisal can make or break a sale, so it’s important to know the value of your home beforehand.


A contingency is a condition that needs to be met before a home sale can be finalized. For example, a common contingency is a financing contingency, which states that the sale is subject to the buyer obtaining financing from a mortgage lender. Other contingencies may include an inspection contingency, where the sale is contingent upon an inspection that identifies no major issues with the property. Both buyers and sellers should understand what contingencies can be included, as they can have a major impact on the success of a sale.

Buying or selling real estate can be a complex and challenging process, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By understanding some of the key terms in real estate, you can navigate the process with more confidence and make better decisions. We hope that this blog post has provided you with a better understanding of these key terms and how they impact a real estate transaction. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, one of our real estate agents can help you throughout the process, making things smoother and hassle-free.

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