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Home Buying Vocabulary You Should Know

Home buying words you should know:

  • OFFER: An agreement between a buyer and a seller to purchase real estate. Also known as a sales contract.
  • CLOSING COSTS: Fees paid at the end of the transaction either by the seller, buyer, or both. They include taxes, insurance, and other lender expenses.
  • HOME INSPECTION: An examination of the property’s condition. Usually performed by a qualified home inspector of your choice or lenders.
  • APPRAISAL: Property and/or land valuation completed by an appraiser who determines the market value. This process can take 2-4+ weeks.
  • SIGNING: Schedule closing as soon as you receive the OK from your lender. This is when you will be signing for the home.
  • CONTINGENT: The offer on the home has been accepted, but the finalized sale is contingent upon certain criteria. Typically appraisal, home inspection, or mortgage approval.
  • EARNEST MONEY: Deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s good faith in a transaction. Typically held in a trust or escrow account.
  • TITLE: A bundle of rights in a piece of property. The title company will provide you with the preliminary title report to review before accepting the property.
  • INSURANCE: Choose your home owner’s insurance and provide the information to your lender. Be sure to gather 3 or more quotes before choosing.
  • RECORDING: The day after signing, the ownership of the property will be transferred to the buyer.



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