Real Estate Information Archive


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Common Terms Used By Real Estate Agents

by The Schuman Team

Buying A Home In Cleveland - Common Terms Used By Agents


Cleveland Ohio Real Estate understanding real estate language


If you are buying a home in Cleveland,you will most likely work with a real estate agent who will use language and terminology that you do not understand.  An agent may say they will go into the MLS, find some great comps and send you a CMA, and you will simply smile and nod your head knowing full well you have no idea what they are talking about.

In an effort to educate the consumer, we have compiled a list of common words and terms that real estate agents use on a regular basis along with a definition of each one. Once properly armed, those who are buying a home in Cleveland will be able to "speak the same language" as their agent.

Agency - A consensual fiduciary ( this is covered below ) relationship in which one party acts on behalf of and under the control of another in dealing with third parties.

Comps - Comparable or similar properties used in determining current value of a subject property, typically for appraisal purposes.

CMA - Acronym for Comparative Market Analysis - a report showing a comparison of similar homes to a subject property giving the sellers an idea of market value.

Contingency - A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding; a financing or home inspection contingency are common.

Fiduciary - Someone who acts in a legal role responsible for the best interests of another.

MLS - Also known as Multiple Listing Service- a database through which member real estate brokerages exchange information on listings of real estate. This is a Realtor database of homes that offers the most up to date and accurate information available and is not for public use. Here in Cleveland, we use Northeast Ohio Real Estate Exchange ( NEOHREX ).

REO - Real Estate Owned - An REO is a property that goes back to the mortgage company after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. Another term for a bank owned property.

FSBO - Pronounced "Fizz Bo" - For Sale By Owner - A property being marketed by the owner without the involvement of an agent.

Staging® - Refers to getting a home ready to sell by removing certain personal items, re-arranging furniture, and bringing in furniture in a vacant hometo make the home look good to potential buyers 

Warranty - A home warranty is an insurance contract that covers the repair and replacement costs of home appliances and offers protection for mechanical systems against unexpected repairs not covered by home owner's insurance coverage. It extends over a specific time period and does not cover the home's structure.

Hopefully this list of terms will help make you more comfortable during the home buying process. 


*Many of these terms officially used by the Federal Trade Commission.

Is Zillow Really Accurate, Check This Out

by The Schuman Team

Is Zillow Really Accurate, Take A Look For Yourself


Is Zillow Really Accurate


Over the past 5-7 years, the internet has become the main source to get information, especially when it comes to real estate. With so much data available, we think it is important for consumers to understand exactly what they are reading. 

Today, we are going to be looking at one of the most visited sites, Zillow has quickly become known to consumers as a good place to go to check home values, and is a fine site. However, a problem that a lot of real estate agents have is that people seem to be putting too much weight on the numbers they see here, and are paying less attention to the more accurate figures they receive from us.  I couldn't tell you how many conversations I have had with a client that starts with them saying "you know, we were on Zillow, and it says our home is worth..."  

I guess I don't blame someone for wanting to believe some of the things they read on line, but we thought it was time to set the record straight.  Let's take a closer look at the information you are getting.

If you go to, there will be a link at the very bottom of the home page that takes you to a disclaimer regarding their values.  Here's what I'm referring to:


 link to zillow accuracy disclaimer

         estimate Values and Accuracy        Terms of Use      Privacy Policy

Go ahead and click on the link above. Here, you will be able to learn how Zillow comes up with their homes values and see that they do in fact have a margin for error in their figures. They even give specific information on major metropolitan areas, such as our city, Cleveland.

You can even get more detailed information regarding Zillow's figures if you are the kind of person that loves details.

The point we want to make is that visiting sites like Zillow are great, but the numbers you see should be used merely as a starting point for discussion purposes only. Nothing replaces the information you can get from a local real estate expert.  In fact, Zillow even recommends getting a market analysis from a real estate agent, it even says so right on their site.

We find that a little education goes a long way, and hopefully you found this helpful. Now, if you end up sitting down with us to buy or sell a home, you won't start the conversation with ..."you know, I was on Zillow the other day...."

Home Vs. Neighborhood - What's More Important?

by The Schuman Team

What Is More Important: The Home OR The Neighborhood?


Tudor Style home in SOM Hills Solon Ohio

Huntington Woods Solon Oh block party


We just had a rather healthy debate with some other agents about this topic. We were asked in a group setting what is more important to today's buyers, the home or the neighborhood ( we couldn't answer both ).

While it's hard to make a blanket statement, based on our personal experience, many of our buyers seem to be focused on the "home". Maybe even a little too much.

In today's market, we understand that buyers "want it all" when it comes to finding a home. The home has to look a certain way on the outside, the floor plan must be just right, and room sizes must be perfect as well.  It also must be a finished product and done to their tastes, because many of today's buyers lack vision or simply don't want to do any work themselves. Oh yeah, and it would be nice if it's in a neighborhood or area that they like as well.

On the flip side, when we talk to our selling clients and ask what they will miss the most, they rarely mention their home. Most say they will miss the neighborhood, the proximity to schools, or the friendships they've developed in the community. Rarely do we ever hear "I'm really going to miss this huge dining room that we just had to have when we bought the home because it perfectly fit our antique dining room set".

I'm not saying people don't love their home. It seems though that once someone moves in and starts living in a home, the more they begin to appreciate the other features such as location, amenities, and the neighborhood. The home often becomes secondary after time.

So what is really more important, the home or the neighborhood? It seems to depend on where you are in the cycle. However, we think that today's home buyers would be wise to "relax" just a little bit about not getting every little thing they want, and focus on the big picture of what will most likely make them happy in the long run.

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Contact Information

The Schuman Team
3550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike OH 44122
Dan: 216-346-3235
Amy: 216-403-9189
Fax: 216-456-2333