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.