Buying and Selling Your Home Glossary of Terms

The world of real estate and the market itself can seem quite complicated if you are new to it. However, all of us, at some point in our lives, do get familiar with the aspects of buying and selling a home. Although there is a lot of paperwork involved and there are different procedures, once you get to know the basics of everything, things become much simpler. In addition, there are many different players involved in the buying and selling of your home. Therefore, throughout the rest of this text, we’ll talk about real estate agents, brokers and lawyers and the glossary of terms related to purchasing and selling. 

Buying and Selling Your Home

Whether you are buying or selling your home, the first and most important move would be to hire a professional real estate agent. An agent deals with any and all communication and negotiation between the buyer and the seller. They are the ones that guide their client throughout this process, providing them with all the necessary information. In some ways, an agent is a coach with experience. They are there to answer any questions, to provide the paperwork, and at the end of the day, they are familiar with the extended glossary of terms of buying and selling your home. 

Therefore, do the research, get recommendations, and find a reliable and trustworthy agent who will understand what you are looking for. Your interests and the list of wants and needs should be their priority as they guide you with buying or selling. Once again, there are multiple documents and contracts that go with this entire process, therefore it’s essential that you and your agent have a good professional relationship. 

Glossary of Terms

If you are new to the game of buying and selling your home, terms such as appraisal, bidding war, capital gain, closing, commission, down payment, etc. might seem quite new and unfamiliar. We recommend getting familiar with these home terms in case you happen to be buying or selling. Whether you decide to keep your goals private for now or want to let everyone know you are moving, it’ll benefit you to understand the process better. It’s overall helpful to know and understand the procedures and what certain documents mean. Let’s cover some of the basics!


In the simplest terms, an appraisal is an estimated value of a property. These calculations are based on the trends within the community, the state of the property, and what it was originally purchased at. Particular neighborhoods will have the houses within the same vicinity appraised at approximately the same amounts, which makes sense overall.

Bidding War

Best way to explain a bidding war is to compare it to an auction. The seller of the property may have multiple offers at once. A bidding war occurs when the buyers keep coming back with higher bids in order to be the one to get the house. The seller also knows they can profit well if there are competing buyers for the property. Therefore, it’s a plus for the seller, however, it can be tricky for the buyer. 

Capital Gain

Capital gain means profit. This occurs when you sell your home at a much higher price and end up making a good profit from the sale overall. 


The closing stage of buying and selling your home is when all the previous steps and documents have been dealt with. At this point, everything has been signed, the deposit is in, and all the payments are covered. This is practically the transition from either handing the key to the new owner, or getting the key to your new home. 


Commission is the payout for the broker or real estate agent. It is their percentage of the sale or purchase of a home. As they are the ones that guide you from the beginning stages to the closing stage, part of their earnings comes from the commission they make. 

Down Payment 

This is the amount you provide to the seller as part of the payment for the house. Depending on the selling condition, the percentage of the full amount might differ. In most places, it ranges from 5% to 20% of the entire cost of the house. Sometimes, however, the owner might have specific terms and can ask for a bigger down payment. 

Real Estate

In real estate, although there are many rules to abide by and guidelines to follow, most of the time, certain things depend on the buyer, seller, and other circumstances. For example, sometimes you can schedule a viewing of a house before it goes on the market. At other times, people might be more flexible with the overall price or move-in date. Once again, communication is extremely important, as it determines the outcome and flow of negotiations. The more familiar you are with the glossary of terms when it comes to buying or selling your home, the better you will be throughout this process.


As we’ve already mentioned, communicating is important, as negotiations play a major role in buying and selling your home. The communication between agents and buyers and sellers is how people purchase and sell their homes. Therefore, being familiar with and understanding the terms above and many others is essential and necessary. 

Moreover, as you are signing plenty of documents, it’s important that you understand what you are signing, as these are all legal matters. You definitely want to ensure that you are aware of where your signature is going and what that means in the end. 

All in all, whether you are new at this or not, always make sure to be working with a reliable and trustworthy real estate agent. Relieve the stress of relocating and let the professional deal with the necessary procedures and documentation. You simply ensure to know the differences between buying and selling your home, and learn the home terms used in the real estate market. 


Written By: Sophia Perry – Edited By: Ashley Pasquale

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