Congratulations, it is time to purchase your first home! While this experience is exciting, it can also be intimidating. To make your home buying adventure as easy and memorable as possible, our HomesIn real estate team has compiled all the words you need to know. Here is your Home Buying Cheat Sheet:

  1. Real Estate Agent / Real Estate Broker / Relator: An agent has procured their state licensure and works under the supervision of a brokerage, a broker is an agent with an additional license who can sell homes on their own, and a relator belongs to the National Association of Relators.
  2. Offer: This is the deal between the buyer and seller. When working with an agent, you will tell them your offer, and they will communicate that to the home owners. This can also be referred to as a sales contract.
  3. Contingent: When a sale offer has been accepted, but is subject to change due to extenuating circumstances. For example, a sale can be contingent upon the completion of a home inspection.
  4. Escrow: Once your offer is accepted, your transaction is placed “into escrow.” This simply means that a neutral third party is holding onto your money until the deal is contracted and finalized.
  5. Closing Costs: These are the fees paid at the end of the transaction, including taxes and insurance among other lender expenses.
  6. Earnest Money: This is a deposit the buyer puts down to show good faith in completing the purchase of the home. If the buyer backs out of the sale, they may lose their deposit.
  7. Title: This is the bundle of rights in a piece of property. A preliminary title report is often reviewed by the buyer before purchasing the property.
  8. Appraisal: A property will be evaluated and inspected by an appraiser who will determine the fair market value of the home or land. This process usually takes between 2 to 4 weeks.
  9. Signing: This takes place during the closing of the deal, when you are quite literally signing for the rights of the home. Try to schedule this as soon as you are approved by your mortgage lender. The signing process usually takes about one hour.
  10. Recording: After signing the ownership of the property will be transferred to the buyer. This is when you receive the keys to your new home!