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Understanding Real Estate Terminology: A Glossary for Sellers

Raven Realty is a Professional Real Estate Brokerage Serving The Greater La Crosse Area, including having the best real estate agents in Onalaska, WI.  Here’s a glossary of commonly used real estate terms, along with simple explanations, to help first-time sellers or buyers in Onalaska navigate the real estate world with confidence:

1. Appraisal:

An evaluation of a property’s value conducted by a professional appraiser to determine its fair market value.

2. Closing Costs:

Expenses incurred during the closing process, such as attorney fees, title insurance, taxes, and loan fees.

3. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA):

An analysis prepared by a real estate agent that compares the prices of similar properties in the area to determine an appropriate listing price.

4. Contingency:

A condition that must be met before a real estate contract becomes binding. For example, a buyer may include a financing contingency to ensure they can secure a loan.

5. Equity:

The difference between the current market value of a property and the outstanding mortgage balance.

6. Listing Agreement:

A contract between a seller and a real estate agent that outlines the terms and conditions of listing the property for sale.

7. Multiple Listing Service (MLS):

A database that real estate agents use to share information about properties for sale, allowing for broader exposure to potential buyers.

8. Pre-approval:

The process of obtaining a lender’s commitment to provide a mortgage loan for a specific amount, based on a borrower’s creditworthiness and financial information.

9. Title:

A legal document that establishes ownership of a property.

10. Escrow:

A neutral third party (usually an escrow company) that holds funds and documents during a real estate transaction until all conditions are met.

11. Earnest Money:

A deposit made by a buyer to demonstrate their intention to purchase the property. It is held in escrow until the transaction is completed.

12. Contingent Offer:

An offer to purchase a property that depends on certain conditions being met, such as the sale of the buyer’s current home.

13. Home Inspection:

A thorough examination of a property’s condition conducted by a professional inspector to identify any issues or defects.

14. Down Payment:

The upfront payment made by a buyer towards the purchase of a property, typically a percentage of the total sale price.

15. Deed:

A legal document that transfers ownership of a property from one party to another.

16. Title Insurance:

Insurance that protects against any defects or disputes regarding the ownership of a property.

17. Homeowners Association (HOA):

An organization that manages and enforces rules and regulations for a community or condominium complex. Membership and fees may be required.

18. Amortization:

The gradual repayment of a mortgage loan through regular payments over a specified period, typically in monthly installments.

19. Seller’s Market:

A market condition in which there are more buyers than available properties, often resulting in increased home prices and bidding wars.

20. Appraisal Contingency:

A clause in a purchase agreement that allows the buyer to renegotiate or withdraw their offer if the property appraisal is lower than the agreed-upon price.

Remember, if you encounter any unfamiliar terms or have questions during the real estate process, don’t hesitate to ask a real estate agent from Raven Realty or other professionals involved in the transaction. They are there to help you understand and make informed decisions. Raven Realty has the best real estate agents in Onalaska WI!

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