• Someone who represents a consumer (buyer or seller) in a real estate deal. An agent is someone who will look after the interest of the consumer or client.


  • (American Land Tittle Association) A tittle insurance policy that protects the interest in a collateral property of a mortgage lender who originates a new real estate loan. ALTA promotes uniformity and quality in tittle abstract and title insurance policies.


  • Someone who has received additional state required training so that he or she may act as a supervisor over sales agents.


  • Someone who not only supervises the actions of sales associates but also is the owner of the real estate company. Not all company owners are “brokers” (but individual state laws differ).


  • (Closing Disclosure) It is 4 or 5 pages form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected. It includes the loan terms, your monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage (closing costs). The lender is required to give you the Closing Disclosure at least 3 business days before you close on the mortgage loan. This 3 days window allows you time to compare your final terms and costs to those estimated in the Loan Estimate that you previously received from the lender. The three days also gives you time to ask your lender any questions before you go to the closing table.


  • A homebuyer or homeseller who has signed a contract agreeing to work with a specific real estate agent and has agreed to terms of compensation provided in the contract.


  • It means an offer has been made and accepted. However the offer is “contingent”–that is, dependent–on some other factors.
  • One common contingency is getting financing. The buyer is saying: “I’m willing to buy your home for $x. However, this offer is contingent on my getting approved for financing to buy your house.”
  • Another common contingency is a home inspection. The buyer is saying: “I’m willing to buy your home for $x. However, this offer is contingent on a home inspector (who I’ll hire) inspecting the home and making sure there’s nothing seriously wrong with it.”
  • Once a buyer and seller have agreed on all the major terms–price, closing date, etc.–but before any contingencies have been resolved, the status of the home is “contingent.”


  • Is someone a real estate agent works with, without a contract. There are not specific obligations and customers typically offer no assurance to agents that they will be paid for their work.


  • deed is the document that transfers ownership of real estate. It contains the names of the old and new owners and a legal description of the property, and is signed by the person transferring the property. You can’t transfer real estate without having something in writing, which is almost always a deed. Note there is a difference between Deed and Tittle. Please check the meaning of Tittle in this same section.


  • An earnest money deposit shows the seller that a buyer is serious about purchasing a property. When the transaction is finalized, the funds are put toward the buyer’s down payment. If the deal falls through, the buyer may not be able to reclaim the deposit. Typically, if the seller terminates the deal, the earnest money will be returned to the buyer. When the buyer is responsible for retracting the offer, the seller will usually be awarded the money.


  • A good faith estimate, referred to as a GFE, must be provided by a mortgage lender or broker to a customer, as required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The estimate must include an itemized list of fees and costs associated with the loan and must be provided within 3 business days of applying for a loan.
    These mortgage fees, also called settlement costs or closing costs, cover every expense associated with a home loan, including inspections, title insurance, taxes and other charges.
    The good faith estimate is only an estimate. The final closing costs may be different; however the difference can only be 10% of the third party fees. Once a good faith estimate is issued the lender/broker cannot change the fees in the origination box.


  • Someone who makes funds available to another with the expectation that the funds will be repaid, plus any interest and/or fees. A lender can be an individual, or a public or private group. Lenders may provide funds for a variety of reasons, including for mortgage.


  • A listing is a house for sale by a real estate agent. When the owner of the home agrees to allow an agent to sell it, the owner will sign a “listing agreement”, a contract that outlines what the agent will do to market the home in exchange for how much of a fee.


  • This Exhibit is part of the Agreement stating the Offer date and the property address that specify the terms of the loan ( FHA, VA, Conventional, etc)


  • This is a collection of most, if not all, of the homes listed for sale by MLS members within a certain geographic area. The listings are collected in a central database that can be searched by other members of the MLS who have buyers interested in purchasing a home of a specific style or in a specific location.


  • A contract for the sale of real property containing the phrase “time is of the essence” creates the requirement that both parties to the contract perform within the time and day specified.  Failure by one of the parties to perform on the closing date will constitute a material breach of the contract.


  • When you buy a home, you are given a title to the property, which generally means you receive full legal ownership. Sometimes, there is a hidden mistake in a prior deed, will, mortgage, etc., that may give someone else a valid legal claim against your property!
    For new home buyers, title insurance protects against loss if a covered defect is found in the title to your home. It offers you information on the status of the title to land before you buy or refinance and protects against title claims that may affect the title after you buy. Having title insurance can save you money, time, trouble, even your home!