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Real estate terms for Ohio buyers and sellers

Michelle McQuade | May 7, 2018

Are you buying or selling a home in Ohio? It’s best to be familiar with real estate terms that you’ll likely come across throughout the entire home buying or selling process.

Mortgage application form on wooden table

Here are some of the most important terms you should know:

  • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) – A type of mortgage with a variable interest rate based on a particular rate index, such as the 11th District Cost of Funds, one-year Treasury note, and six-month Treasury bill.
  • Agreement of sale – An agreement or contract entered into by the buyer and the seller in the purchase of a property.
  • Amenity – A tangible or intangible feature of a property that makes it more desirable to a buyer, such as a convenient location, a nearby attraction, a swimming pool, or a gym.
  • Amortization – The repayment of a loan or mortgage through regular (typically monthly) installments.
  • Amortization schedule – The itemized breakdown of amortizations throughout the loan term, including the principal payments and interest fees.
  • Appraisal – The process of setting or estimating the market value of a property by a licensed real estate appraiser. A property appraisal may be documented in a report or a short letter or reported orally.
  • Broker – An agent with a contractual relationship with a buyer or a seller. A salesperson may work as an agent for a broker but does not have a contractual relationship with the client.
  • Building line – Also known as setback, this is the required distance between the property line and the building, as imposed by the municipality or homeowners associations.
  • Caps – A provision of an ARM that limits how much the interest rate can change over the duration of the loan.
  • Closing – The final stage in the sale of a property where the buyer signs the mortgage, pays the closing costs and receives the title to the home; and the seller receives the payment for the home, pays the closing costs, and hands the keys of the home to the buyer.
  • Closing costs – The total expenses accumulated in the sales process, including escrow and title insurance fees, appraisal fees, taxes, and others.
  • Deposit or earnest money – Cash paid by the seller to the buyer upon entering into the sales contract to demonstrate the seller’s serious intent to buy the home.
  • Detached single-family home – A single building on a lot intended for use by one family.
  • Down payment – The part of the property’s sale price the buyer has to pay in cash.
  • Duplex – A single building divided into two for use by two families.
  • Equity – The difference between a property’s fair value and the amount of mortgage owed on the property
  • Escrow – A process in which a third party holds money and documents in trust until all predetermined terms and conditions are fulfilled.
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM) – A type of loan or mortgage with an unchanging monthly payment and interest rate.
  • Improvements – Additions to a vacant land or to a home that’s more than basic repairs, intended to increase the value of the property.
  • Jumbo loan – Mortgage for an amount that exceeds standard loan limits.
  • Mortgage – A loan or financial arrangement where the buyer borrows money to pay for property, with the property as the collateral.
  • Multi-family property – A building or group of buildings intended to provide housing for more than four families.
  • Real estate – Physical land and any structure, fixture, or improvement located on the land.
  • Real property – Synonymous to real estate.
  • REALTOR or Realtor – A real estate agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS
  • Title insurance – A type of insurance that protects a home buyer and the lender from loss resulting from any disputes over the ownership of a property after its purchase is completed.

Real estate jargon in one reason buying or selling a home can be confusing to non-professionals. Learn more about Cleveland real estate from our blog.

To make sure your interests are protected at every step of the home buying and selling process, work with an experienced and reputable Cleveland Realtor. Get in touch with Michelle McQuade at 440-823-2448 or send her an email at MichelleMcQuade(at)HowardHanna(dotted)com.

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