Ask the Realtor: As a first-time home buyer, what are some terms I should know?

Call us at 410-381-3331 to learn more about this 6-bedroom home in Columbia, Md. Click on the image above for more details.

Every industry has its own terms and phrases that you otherwise wouldn’t use, and real estate is no different. If you’re thinking of buying a home for the first time, below are a few terms you’re like to hear.

And if there’s ever a term you aren’t familiar with, WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony is always ready to answer your questions, even if you aren’t yet our client! Call us anytime at 301-410-381-3331.

Closing costs: The entire package of miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when the real estate deal closes. These costs include the brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney’s settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees, title insurance and other possible fees or charges.

CMA: Comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis. A CMA is a report that shows prices of homes that are comparable to a particular home and that were recently sold, are currently on the market, or were on the market but not sold within the listing period.

Contingency: A provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met. One example is a buyer’s contractual right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home.

Fixture: Anything of value that is permanently attached to or a part of real property. (Real estate is legally called “real property,” while movables are called “personal property.”) Examples of fixtures include installed wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, window coverings, landscaping and so on. Fixtures are a frequent subject of buyer and seller disputes. When in doubt, get it in writing.

Listing: An agreement between a real estate broker and a home owner that allows the broker to market and arrange for the sale of the owner’s home. The word “listing” is also used to refer to the for-sale home itself. A home being sold by the owner without a real estate agent isn’t a “listing.”

MLS: Multiple Listing Service. An MLS is an organization that collects, compiles and distributes information about homes listed for sale by its members, who are real estate brokers. Membership isn’t open to the general public, although selected MLS data may be sold to real estate listings Web sites. MLSs are local or regional. The MLS for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. is here.

Title insurance: An insurance policy that protects a lender’s or owner’s interest in real property from assorted types of unexpected or fraudulent claims of ownership. It’s customary for the buyer to pay for the lender’s title insurance policy.

Information courtesy of

Are you thinking about listing your home or buying a home? Call WEICHERT, REALTORS® — New Colony at 410-381-3331 for a complimentary meeting with one of our Realtors®.

Contact us: 410-381-3331

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