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Real Estate Terms for Beginners

Daniel Neiditch


There are many different abbreviations and terminology used in the real estate world. When looking to rent, buy or sell property it might be difficult for the layperson to understand exactly what their real estate agent means or what is in a contract. Below is a list of some of the basic terms and abbreviations that are commonly used in real estate conversations that everyone should know.

4B/2B: This is an abbreviation telling you how many bedrooms and bathrooms are in the property. In this example there would be four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Closing costs: All of the miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when the deal closes. Some of the things included in these costs are the brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney’s settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees and title insurance. Closing costs are usually paid through escrow. (See below for escrow definition)

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

Escrow: A bond, deed or other document kept in the custody of a third party. It only takes effect when a specified condition has been fulfilled.

FDR: Formal dining room.

Fixture: Anything of value that is permanently attached to or a part of the property. This can include wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, window coverings and landscaping.

FSBO: For sale by owner.

Frplc, fplc, FP: Fireplace.

Full bathroom: A room with a toilet, sink and a bathtub/shower.

Gar: Garage

Half bathroom (aka powder room): A room with only a toilet and a sink.

HDW, HWF, Hdwd: Hardwood floors.

Hi ceils: High ceilings.

LR: Living room.

Nr bst schls: Near the best schools.

Three-quarter bathroom: A room with a toilet, sink and a shower.

Vw, vu, vws, vus: View(s).

W/D: Washer and dryer.

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