Real Estate Terms

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Term Definition

A business or organization that provides a particular service, especially the mediation of transactions between two parties. In a real estate environment, agency refers to the business of providing service to sellers, buyers, landlords, and organizations, most of which are clients, but some are customers, to facilitate and expedite the sale and closing of real property. Agency relationships are defined by the presence absence of a representation agreement. This agreement defines what activities are allowable under the auspices of agency for both parties and it dictates whether client or customer level service is provided. Agency exists between a client and a broker (typically the Broker-In-Charge or BIC) and one of the agency's licensed agents.


Features of a home or property such as a fireplace, jacuzzi, outdoor living space, garden, mountain view or swimming pool. Amenities can also exist within a neighborhood or community. These types of amenities would typically be a community pool, clubhouse, fitness trails, exercise facilities, golf course, playground or lake.


A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby. The appraised value is an appraiser's opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property. Since an appraisal is based primarily on comparable sales, and the most recent sale is the one on the property in question, the appraisal usually comes out at the purchase price. An appraiser is an individual qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property. Although some appraisers work directly for mortgage lenders, most are independent. Most banks or lenders select appraisers for transactions based on a rotation system containing approved/certified appraisers. Some lenders use appraisal services, which aren't as popular with Realtors, due to the occasional assignment of an appraiser to a property that might be somewhat out of their area of expertise (geographically). This usually only happens in rural areas where approved appraisers are not as readily available.

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