Real Estate Terminology 101
For those who don’t work in the industry, real estate terminology can be a bit overwhelming. There are many different terms used in the home buying and selling process, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with the jargon your agent or others involved in the transaction may use. To help you get over that hurdle, this article is going to explain some of the terminology that might come up on your journey toward selling or buying a property.
Smith Marketing is a leading real estate team in North Carolina. Whether you are looking for Greensboro real estate specifically, or homes for sale throughout the rest of the Triad, Smith Marketing is ready to serve you.
APR – Annual Percentage Rate
When taking out a mortgage to purchase a home, the APR or annual percentage rate – is one of the most important numbers to know. This is the rate of interest that you will pay on your loan per year.
Before you close a purchase, there will be an appraisal to determine the fair value of the property. An appraisal takes into account the location and condition of the property, along with the current marketing conditions.
This is when the deal comes to completion and the transfer of ownership officially occurs. There are a few steps to go through during closing before everything is signed and the money is transferred. When the “closing” is completed the home with change hands from the buyer to the seller.
In some cases, a contingency clause will be added to a real estate deal. The most common contingency is one where a deal to buy a house is contingent on the sale of another house that the would-be buyer currently owns.
When you take out a mortgage to buy a house, it will be necessary to put down at least some percentage of the purchase price as a down payment. While 20% is often stated as the standard down payment amount, it’s typically possible to secure a loan with a lower down payment.
Building equity is one of the primary motivations for buying a house. To determine if you have equity in your current home, and to see how much equity might be there, subtract how much you own on the home from the total current market value. As an example, if you owe $200,000 on your loan, and your property is valued at $300,000, you have $100,000 of equity.
When trying to buy a house, a home inspection is one of the most important parts of the process. After you have an offer accepted, a home inspection should be ordered to evaluate the condition of the home and determine if any costly repairs need to be completed.
The word mortgage is used to describe a loan that is issued to a homebuyer to complete the purchase of a property. There are plenty of different mortgage options on the market today, but a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage tends to be the most popular.
This is the status of a property that is under contract and moving toward closing – but hasn’t closed yet. If the deal falls through for any reason before it closes, the home may be placed back on the market.
Real estate agent
An industry professional licensed and qualified to assist buyers and sellers with real estate transactions. Working with an agent provides access to expertise and years of experience.
This is what is held by the owner of a property, and it serves as proof of legal ownership of that property. The title is only transferred during a real estate deal once the transaction closes and money changes hands.
What’s Going on With the Housing Market?
The housing market is constantly in flux. There is an ongoing ebb and flow between buying and selling conditions, and it can be tough to keep in the know with market conditions and rates. If you have been thinking about buying a new home or selling your existing one, but aren’t sure if market conditions are right, this article should help you sort through the noise and make a sound decision.
Getting professional help with such a big financial investment is always a wise move. As an Allen Tate team, Smith Marketing can help you explore the houses for sale in Greensboro to see if anything on the market is a good fit for you and your family and as a top real estate team in North Carolina, have the experience to help you market your home and get the most for it.
Prices Remain Strong
Even if you don’t follow the real estate market closely, you likely know that home prices have been relatively high – and rising – throughout much of the country. This is a trend that continues to hold true, and the Greensboro area is no exception. As an example, in September 2022, the median sale price of a home in Greensboro was $263,500, which is nearly a 17% year-over-year increase. If you zoom out to look at the state of North Carolina as a whole, the picture is very similar – the median price was $346,700, representing a roughly 10% increase as compared to September 2021.
So, what does that mean for you as a potential homebuyer? While strong prices might not seem appealing, it’s important to consider what that means for the equity of a home you currently own. If you are going to be selling and then buying, your sale price will be higher than it would have been in recent years, meaning you’ll have more cash available for a down payment on your next property.
Competition May Be Softening
In addition to high prices, one of the prevailing trends in real estate recently has been the hyper-competitive nature of the market. It’s been tough to get an offer accepted, as many properties were receiving multiple offers shortly after going onto the market – and often those offers would be for more than the list price.
Looking at the data from September 2022, however, there is some indication that things are getting a little easier. Within that month, the median days on market of the homes that were sold was 24, which was one additional day as compared to 2021. That slightly longer time on the market indicates that the competition is not quite as heavy as it was, although good properties are still likely to receive plenty of attention.
The Right Help is Critical
Yes, it’s a good time to buy a home – but not without a quality real estate agent on your side. Having good help to guide you through the process, point you toward the right properties, and enable you to act quickly when you find something you like is going to make everything much easier. Reach out to Smith Marketing right away to learn how North Carolina’s top Real Estate team can help you buy or sell your home.
What’s the Difference Between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent?
When you are getting ready to buy or sell a home – or both – you are likely going to reach out to a real estate professional for help. A qualified professional can help you understand the market, uncover opportunities, and wind up making a deal that is in your best interest. You might refer to these people casually as real estate agents or Realtors – but is there a difference? Yes, and this article will highlight the difference below.
If you would like to work with a qualified Realtor to find homes for sale in and around the Greensboro area, feel free to reach out to Smith Marketing today for assistance.
An Official Designation
To make sense of this potentially confusing topic, it will help to first look at what it means to be a real estate agent. As a real estate agent, an individual is properly licensed to assist with the process of transacting real estate in a given location. There are requirements that vary by state to obtain a valid license, including things like completing educational courses, passing an exam, and more.
So, if you are considering hiring someone to help you buy or sell real estate, looking for a real estate agent can be considered a starting point. Beyond confirming that an individual is licensed, you may also want to look into other factors like their experience serving past clients, transactions they have completed in your area, any specialties they have, and more. Finding a good partner in this process is the best thing you can do, so plenty of research is necessary.
The Title of Realtor
When someone is designated officially as a Realtor, that title indicates their membership in an organization called the National Association of Realtors. As such, Realtor is not a word that is a suitable stand-in for “real estate agent”, as they don’t mean exactly the same thing. The National Association of Realtors has registered the term Realtor as a collective membership mark, establishing their ownership of that term for professional purposes.
Before an individual can become a Realtor, it is necessary to first become a licensed real estate agent. With that bar cleared, and some additional basic qualifications met, it is then possible to pay a fee and join a real estate association that is part of the NAR. Maintaining that membership moving forward means following the standards that are established by the association.
It should also be noted that not all Realtors work in the capacity of a real estate agent. While that is certainly a common path, some who hold this title will be property managers, real estate brokers, etc. When you are looking around for someone to represent you in the market, finding a Realtor is a great sign that you are in good hands.
The Smith Marketing Difference
Choosing a Realtor in the Greensboro area is easy now that you have come across Smith Marketing. With ample experience and intimate knowledge of the local market, you’ll have everything you need to make smart buying and selling decisions.