Real Estate Glossary

We understand buying, selling, and moving will be one of the most demanding experiences in your lifetime. What can make it all even more overwhelming is feeling lost in communication. With a constant flow of real estate terminology and phrasing that you don’t use often or ever, it can be hard to keep up.

So let’s translate in order to communicate. Here is a listing of popular terms you may hear while working with Connecticut’s top real estate agents…

Active with Contingencies

Sometimes on-market properties appear as “active with contingencies”. This states the seller has agreed to terms with a potential buyer who identified specific criteria (or contingencies) about their arrangement which must be met before the sale can officially commence. Contingencies could range from seller repairs to buyer financing.

Active Under Contract

Properties can be listed as “active under contract” until all contingencies have been satisfied by both parties. Once parties are satisfied, the property is now “pending” sale.


Commonly associated with a mortgage, amortization is the process of paying off debt at regular intervals. This debt is as combination of interest and principal payments.


In its simplest form, an appraisal is a valuation of property. Applied to real estate, an appraisal is used to help determine a market price when listing properties for sale. When buying property, appraisals can help justify the valuation of your offer and is also a number the bank uses to ensure the safety of their loan.


A real estate broker can handle all the same responsibilities as a real estate agent, plus they’ve earned additional education focused on ethics, insurance, contracts & taxes, property management, and construction. This allows real estate brokers to hire real estate agents and manage transactions.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are expenses paid to finalize your real estate transaction. These costs are separate of your down payment and can include…

  • Title Insurance
  • Homeowners Insurance
  • Property Taxes
  • Attorney Fees
  • Underwriter Fees
  • Mortgage Points
  • and more…


Different than a co-signer, a co-borrower assumes both liability of debt and ownership rights of the property.


Real estate contingencies refer to specific conditions or criteria that must be met for a deal to be agreed upon.


A deed legally defines transfer of ownership & title between a buyer and a seller.

Down Payment

A down payment is a percentage of the purchase price you pay out of pocket. You down payment plus loan amount equals the property’s purchase price.


Equity is the value of your property’s appraised market value minus the loan amount. So if your property is appraises at $220,000 and your loan is worth $150,000, you have $70,000 in equity. Equity can change over time as you pay down the loan amount all while the real estate market increase or decreases your property’s appraised value.


Escrow is a third-party who holds funds on behalf of two parties. Commonly, escrow accounts are used by lenders to collect property taxes and homeowners insurance at the same as the monthly mortgage.

FHA Mortgage

FHA or Federal Housing Administration insures mortgages with a minimum of 3.5% down payment for buyers with a 580 credit score or higher. These mortgage require MIP (Mortage Insurance Premium) and the home must be the buyer’s primary residence.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A fixed-rate mortgage is a loan with a permanent interest rate for the 10-30 year lifespan of the loan.


A foreclosure occurs when the borrower breaks loan terms (fails to pay) and the lender reposes the property.

Home Inspection

An assessment by a qualified home inspector to determine the property’s condition. This includes utilities, fire safety, and water & pest damage among other observations.

Loan Officer

Loan officers work on behalf of a lender to help the borrower through the process of obtaining a mortgage.

Loan To Value

Loan to value is a ratio between the appraised value of a property and the outstanding loan against the property. The higher the loan to value ratio, the riskier a mortgage can be for the lender.

Mortgage Broker

Their goal is to align a mortgage buyer with a mortgage lender based on features such as type of mortgage, desired interest rate, and financial background.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

The MLS is an information network of for sale property listings organized by real estate brokers with the common goal of helping sellers find buyers.


A mortgage pre-approval means your credit score and finances have been reviewed by a lender and you qualify to borrow money.


A mortgage principle is the amount borrowed from the lender. It’s home sale price minus down payment. This is independent of other charges such as interest, PMI, home insurance, and property taxes.

Purchase Agreement

A binding contract between a buyer and seller clarifying agreed upon terms such as sale price and contingencies.

Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are licensed professionals who coordinate real estate transactions between property buyers and sellers.


Declares legal ownership of property.

Under Contract

A property under contract has terms agreed to by both the buyer and seller, but these terms have yet to be achieved. Once the terms are reached the property sale becomes “pending”.

VA Mortgage

VA Mortgages are special mortgages for U.S. military servicemembers and veterans that are partially backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. These mortgages can support a $0 down payment with competitive interest rates.

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Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 5pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only
Sunday: By Appointment Only

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778 South Main Street
Plantsville, CT 06479

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