Translating the Language of Real Estate

Guest blogger: Matt Dobbe, Regional Marketing Coordinator, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – Wisconsin Region

Funny bubble of real estate abbreviations

As someone new to the real estate industry, I’ve learned that buying a home is more than just bed and bath counts. It’s waterfront property, big yards, BICCs and a friendly neighborhood. It’s FSBOs, REOs and contracts and paperwork…A lot of paperwork.

It probably shouldn’t have surprised me, but I didn’t realize how much had to be signed, approved and permitted when buying or selling a home. I also didn’t know that all real estate agents were fluent in more than one language: The Language of Real Estate. The Language of Real Estate consists largely of acronyms and abbreviations and if you happen to be one who’s not fluent in Real Estate, deciphering what a certain acronym or term may mean can make it seem like you’re trying to crack a decades long real estate code; similar to Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code.

It took me a while to learn that FSBO meant ‘For Sale By Owner’ and that a short sale is a sale in which the sale price of a home will not cover the outstanding debt on it. Although I’m certainly not a master in the Language of Real Estate, I’m proud to say that I’ve been able to crack the Real Estate Code (without ever calling Tom Hanks).


If you’re like me, you feel a sense of accomplishment after you learn a new language. You feel how rewarding it can be to navigate yourself through a foreign land. If you’re an agent, helping a customer find the home of their dreams is even more rewarding. The smile on their face when they’ve finally signed all the paperwork, dotted the ‘i’s, crossed the ‘t’s and moved into their dream home…That’s the same in every language.

Here’s a link to our Glossary of Terms help in your translation. 

2 thoughts on “Translating the Language of Real Estate

  1. Reblogged this on Ian Schwartz Group and commented:
    Real Estate can be overwhelming. Having a top producing Chicago real estate team like The Ian Schwartz Group as a trusted guide can be priceless. A team small enough to focus and truly listen to your needs/wants but large enough to efficiently get the job done, all while gaining your trust, loyalty, and friendship. More information on the proven profile of success for The Ian Schwartz Group can be seen HERE and HERE.

  2. Reblogged this on Northwest Indiana & Chicagoland Real Estate News and commented:
    To most 1st time home buyers, real estate can be confusing and overwhelming, especially with the real estate terms and numbers, but it shouldn’t have to be. Purchasing a home and selling a home are big steps in most peoples’ lives so it is important to stay informed. Feel free to contact me anytime with your real estate needs, and I will be happy to discuss your questions in terms we can all understand and make the process as easy as possible. Find me on Facebook @

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