Common Real Estate Abbreviations

By May 14, 2020 May 21st, 2020 Real Estate

If you’ve been keeping up with my Real Estate blog posts the past few months, you’ve probably become much more familiar with the ins and outs of homebuying – you understand the big picture topics like what a mortgage is, how to qualify for one, how much you can afford, what type of home you should be looking at, and even what types of insurance you may need. However, you may not be familar with other, smaller things, sort of the nitty gritty of real estate. Things like common real estate abbreviations are important to know, but aren’t usually covered in most general, overall questions about real estate.

So, even if you’re going into the homebuying process well educated, with all of this research and learning on your side, it’s very easy to still be confused by industry terms that you aren’t familiar with. For us, they’re there to save time – as abbreviations and acronyms always are – but for you, the consumer, they can just feel like another obstacle in a sea of confusing new things.

So, for your convenience as you take on the journey to owning your own home, here is a handy list of common real estate abbreviations from Virginia realtor Larry Atkins. Hopefully using this as a reference will save you a lot frustration, and a lot of time Googling things!

I hope this helps you decipher some common abbreviations seen in real estate listings. And remember: If you see anything that you are confused by, or if you have anymore questions or want more help with anything at all related to real estate, please don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m always happy to do whatever it takes to help you get into the home of your dreams.

Reference Guide For Real Estate Abbreviations

from Larry Atkins

Real Estae AbbrevationsSource: Unsplash

When looking at a listing for a house, land or commercial property you may find some abbreviations that have you wondering… what is that? Here are a few to help you figure out what the listing is really saying.

Common Abbreviations for House/Commercial Listings:

BR: is commonly used to refer to bedrooms.

BA: is commonly used to refer to bathrooms.

SQFT: is used to refer to the square footage of the property.

Det: means detached for example there is a detached garage that is not connected to the home or the home is not attached to another dwelling (like a duplex).

C/A: commonly used for Central Air.

C/VAC: commonly used for Central Vacuum.

OSP: commonly used for Off Street Parking for example in the city if the home has its own driveway or assigned lot/garage.

FCD YD: commonly used for Fenced Yard.

 

When looking at a listing for a house, land or commercial property you may find some abbreviations that have you wondering… what is that? Here are a few to help you figure out what the listing is really saying.

Others you may see would include SSA (stainless steel appliances), or GCT (granite countertops), OFP (open floor plan).

Common Abbreviations for Land Listing:

AC: used to abbreviate acres or acreage.

AG: commonly used to denote the land is zoned Agricultural

RES: commonly used to denote the land is zoned Residential

COMM: commonly used to denote the land is zoned Commercial

TOPO: This is short for the topography of the land.

+/-: this is used to denote that the acreage is approximate and there could be more or less than advertised.

Other Abbreviations Not Mentioned

On top of that incredibly helpful list, I’d like to add my own list of common real estate abbreviations that weren’t covered in Mr. Atkins’ post. Here are a few others that I come across frequently:

  • W/O basement = Walk-out basement (meaning that a portion of the basement is above ground, so you can walk from the basement directly outside).
  • HWD Flrs T/O = Hardwood floors throughout
  • SA = Seller’s Assist. This is, essentially, when the seller agrees to pay a percentage of your closing costs.
  • BA = Buyer’s Agent
  • CC = Closing costs, often written as an example:   $5,000 SA for CC
  • Relo Rebate = Relocation referral fee commission rebate.  Often, relocating buyers’ companies charge their Realtors a referral fee so some builders will offer to rebate that relocation referral fee.
  • HOW = Homeowner’s warranty
  • COOP = Cooperating fee. This is the commission that the seller’s agent is paying the buyer’s agent for cooperating in the sale.
  • CD =Closing Disclosure
  • ALTA = American Land Title Association. Usually when people use this acronym in conversation, they’re referring to the final closing sheet.

Common Questions and Answers

What is the purpose of a Relo Rebate?
Often, relocating buyers’ companies charge their Realtors a referral fee, so some builders will offer to rebate that relocation referral fee.
What is the purpose of the HOW?
The homeowner’s warranty is a type of insurance that is there to cover the homeowner in case of major failures of expensive-to-repair appliances that are necessary for the function of the home. Things like hot water heaters, stoves, AC units, et cetera, are all covered under a typical HOW.
Who pays for the HOW?
This can sometimes be a tricky question, because whether the buyer or seller pays for the homeowner’s warranty actually varies by area, based simply on local custom.
In the Philadelphia area, the seller typically pays for the first year or so of the homeowner’s warranty, in case any of the home’s major appliances experience a failure within the first year of owning the home. After that, many buyers continue to pay the premiums so that, when something eventually does break, they don’t have to pay a huge out-of-pocket expense to repair it unexpectedly.
Why does ALTA refer to the final closing sheet if it’s actually an acronym for an organization?
The American Land Title Association is the organization responsible for keeping the history of land titles in the U.S. Usually, though, when people use this acronym in conversation, they’re referring to the final closing sheet, because the ATLA are the ones who provide you with the final sheet with all of your new home’s information on it.
What’s the difference between Closing Disclosure and the ATLA?
 The closing disclosure is a five-page form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected. It includes the loan terms, your projected monthly payments, and how much you will pay in fees and other costs to get your mortgage. It’s like a bill from the bank – it’s got more to do with your finances than your actual home.
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