Real Estate Acronyms You Need to Know

sWhether you’ve bought and sold multiple properties or none at all, are a newly licensed agent, or have been in the business a while, there’s no doubt you have heard one or more real estate terms that have left you puzzled! Wonder no more. Today, we dispel the mystery behind the real estate acronyms that leave you thinking, just what do all those letters really mean?!! Following is our list of Real Estate acronyms you need to know.

FSBO: For Sale By Owner [referred to as “fiz-bow’]

HOA: Homeowners’ Association – Private association formed by a real estate developer or community residents. Created to establish and enforce rules for community, properties and residents in a residential subdivision. HOA dues may be assessed for upkeep of common areas, buildings, insurance, etc.

MLS: Multiple Listing Service – Database or suite of services established or employed by cooperating real estate brokers. Membership establishes contractual offers of compensation and provides data about properties for sale.

CMA: Comparative Market Analysis – Evaluation tool used to ascertain the market value of a property.

UC: Under Contract [in some states this may also be called “In Escrow”]

DTI: Debt to Income – Percentage of monthly income that goes toward monthly debt payments.

FRM: Fixed-Rate Mortgage – Interest rate that does not change during the entire term of the loan.

APR: Annual Percentage Rate – Annual cost of borrowing money based on the loan amount, interest rate, and certain other fees.

PMI: Private Mortgage insurance – Insurance that protects lenders from losses if a homeowner is unable to pay their mortgage. It is required for homebuyers who make down payments less than 20% of the home purchase price. However, there are many products out there that differ from these guidelines and allow a smaller percent down without PMI.

P&I: Principal and Interest – Principal and Interest are the combined portions of your monthly mortgage payment. The Principal amount goes to paying off the money you borrowed to buy your home. The interest amount is that incurred on the money that you borrowed.

PITI: Principal, Interest, Property Taxes, Homeowners Insurance – These 4 items added together represent what is often referred to as your “piti payment”.

FHA: Federal Housing Administration – Government agency that provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the US and its territories. FHA insures loans made by banks and other private lenders for homes in order for them to provide consumers enhanced programs and pricing.

VA: Veterans Affairs – Government agency that manages Veterans Affairs. With regard to real estate, this agency provides home loans and home programs to eligible veterans.

Connect with a Loan Officer to Get Pre-Approved or Apply Online Today

DD: Due Diligence – Money paid directly to a homeowner / seller for a buyer’s right to perform their “due diligence”, or inspections of a property.

EMD: Earnest Money Deposit – A specific form of security / money deposit provided by a buyer in a real estate transaction. Funds are applied to purchase upon the completion of transaction [at closing]. Prior to closing, emd funds must be held in an escrow account, per NC law.

WDIR: Wood Destroying Insect Report – Report provided by inspector who has completed a wood destroying insect inspection. This can include termites, carpenter ants, wood-boring beetles, etc.

ISA: Inside Sales Agent – A person who works “inside the office”. ISA’s typically do not meet face to face with clients but rather sets appointments whether remotely, in a office, or from a call center.

OSA: Outside Sales Agent – A person who works “outside the office”. OSA’s typically meet face to face with clients for appointments and showings set by an ISA.

PB: Provisional Broker – In North Carolina, this is the status of a licensed real estate agent who has not yet completed the mandatory 90 hours of post licensing education [which must be completed within 18 months of original licensure].

BA: Buyer’s Agent – A real estate agent that is under agency agreement with and represents the interests of a buyer.

SA: Seller’s Agent – A real estate agent that is under agency agreement with and represents the interests of a seller.

BIC: Broker-In-Charge – Supervising real estate broker. In NC, each office must have one designated.

REALTOR®: Despite the common misconception that real estate agent and REALTOR® are interchangeable, the term REALTOR® has one singular meaning. REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark. It identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and adheres to its strict Code of Ethics.

WWRE: Working with Real Estate Agents  – NCREC brochure that defines and explains the different types of agency.

NCREC: North Carolina Real Estate Commission – North Carolina state real estate governing body.

Designations and Certifications

Designations and certifications create another large sector of real estate acronyms you need to know. Agents may obtain these by completing specific training and/or classes. However, some also require other qualifications or prerequisites in addition to the educational component.

The question to ask yourself is: Do these really make a difference? Moreover, do they add a benefit for the consumer or simply allow agents to appear more competent than they truly are? North Carolina brokers must take a 75 hour pre-licensing course and 90 hours of post licensing education. In addition, each agent must also take 8 hours of continuing education every year to stay up to date on law and governance changes.

In my personal opinion and experience, clients benefit most from agent’s actual real world experience and insight from colleagues, not extra learning in the classroom. Which begs a more important question. Where does your agent work and who do they work with?

Here is a list of some of the more common Designations and Certifications with there real estate acronyms you need to know:

ABR®: Accredited Buyer’s Representative

GRI: Graduate, Realtor® Institute

ePRO: Certified Internet Professional

CLHMS: Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist