Real Estate Term Translator

DOM, MLS, PIN, HWF, well, WTF? For those of us that may not be acclimated to what seems like an entirely new language being thrown around when first starting a house search, we have put together this translator in hopes that it may become a reference in times of need.

MLS: Yes, I started off with an easy one. This is Multiple Listing Service is a database of the current homes for sale in your market area put together by local cooperating brokers to provide accurate and current information. This service is regulated with a set of rules and strict procedures to make sure that the consumer (you) is protected, as well as the brokers themselves.

DOM: Days on Market. You typically will see this on sites like MLS, Trulia, Zillow, etc. For the most part this cannot be toyed with in anyway so it is truly how many days the property has been on the market for.

UAG: Under Agreement. This you will also see on MLS. An alternative saying to this is “Under Contract”. What this means is that this property has a signed Purchase and Sales agreement and is technically off the market. That’s not to say something can’t happen for the deal to fall through, but for now, the home is as good as sold.

P&S: Purchase & Sales Agreement. A legal contract after the acceptance of an offer on the home between the buyers and sellers finalizing the agreement by stating the sales price, any contingencies, terms, considerations, etc. Signed by all parties and reviewed by respective attorneys.

CMA: Comparative Market Analysis. A close examination of similar homes in the adjacent areas that were recently sold to advise clients on how to price their homes, or how to make an offer on one. Some may look at it as a much scaled down, simple version of an appraisal.

FHA: Federal Housing Administration. Often referred to in the context of the FHA loan. These loans have become popular with first-time homebuyers, unable to make a large down payment, due to their low 3% down payment requirement.

HOA: While shopping around for a condo you will see Homeowner’s Association mentioned a lot. A Homeowner’s Association is a group of condo owners that creates and enforces the rules for the complex, such as pet owning rules, common area rules, etc. They are also the ones that collect and decide where the condo fees go each month.

REO: Real Estate Owned. This is property owned by a lender, or a bank, that has failed to sell the home at a foreclosure auction and will continue to sell the property on it’s own. This is different from a short sale which is not yet bank owned.

FSBO: For Sale By Owner. Sometimes referred to as a ‘fizz-bow’. A property that is being sold without using a real estate broker. This is typically done when the seller is trying to avoid paying a commission fee, though the work put into selling a home is usually highly underestimated (hint: that’s why people have it as a full time JOB!).