“Who’s on First?” — RE Edition

It’s not quite as confusing as Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine . . . but it’s not exactly clear either. Hopefully, the following definitions shed a little light on real estate’s most confusing terms.

“Buyer’s Agent”: the agent who represents the Buyer.

“Listing Agent”: the agent who represents the Seller.

“Selling Agent”: what the Buyer’s agent is called after the deal has closed.

“Sold sign” (in front of house): actually means “Pending.” Once the house has sold — i.e., title has transferred — the sign is removed and the home becomes a “closed” sale.

“Pending”: a home that is under contract, but hasn’t closed yet.

“Sold, subject to inspection“: precedes “Pending” status. Once any inspection issues have been resolved, the home becomes “pending.”

“Broker”: the company who the Agent or Realtor (synonyms) works for. Some are franchises, like RE/Max, others are not (Edina Realty).

“Preview”: when a Realtor tours a home without a client along.

“Showing“: when a Realtor tours a home with their client(s).

“Median Sales Price”: middle value in a group. For example, if a $200k, $250k, $275k, $400k and $2M home all sell, the median sales price is $275k.

“Average Sales Price”: in the previous example, the average sales price is $625k.

“Condo“: an apartment that is owned.

“Highest and Best“: Highest offer, best terms.

Traditional sale“: a normal or routine sale (vs. one that’s “lender-mediated,” i.e. a bank — or many banks — are involved).

S&P/Case-Shiller methodology: a complete mystery to everyone but them (but widely cited nonetheless).

If you want to know what a short sale is . . . call me (the term’s a complete misnomer; personally, I prefer the term, “long sale”).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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