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Real Estate 101 : Real Estate Transaction Refresher

Updated: Jun 3

This may be the first time you've ever sold a real estate property or it may have been some time since you've been involved in a real estate transaction. Here's a quick refresher on some of the real estate specific terms you'll want to know.

Real Estate Brokers and Real Estate Agents

Listing agreements are made between real estate brokers and you, the seller. A real estate agent works for the licensed real estate broker. The commission for the sale of your home will be paid to the real estate broker. The real estate broker will pay a split of that commission to the seller and buyer agents where applicable.

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act, originally passed in 1968 and amended in 1988, is a federal law in the United States that prohibits discrimination in housing.

Learn more about The Fair Housing Act at www.HUD.gov.

Seven "classes" are protected under the Fair Housing Act:

1. Race 2. Color 3. Religion. 4. National Origin 5. Sex 6. Disability 7. Familial Status

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

The Multiple Listing Service is a proprietary database of all properties currently under an active listing contract in a given area.

All active agents and brokers who belong to this MLS will have access to information about your property listing. Buyer's agents searching for a new home for their clients will learn about your property listing through this online database.

Real Estate Portals

Real estate portal websites like Zillow and Realtor.com are data aggregators on listing information. The marketing information on your listing will be syndicated to real estate listing portals in order to draw in the largest possible market of interested buyers.


Before you signed your listing contract with me, I offered you a competitive market analysis of your home's value. We will set the final asking price on your property based on this market value estimate.

Learn more about getting a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis)

When you receive an offer on your home, the buyer's lender will require an official appraisal of the property from a licensed appraiser. This valuation helps assure the lender that they would own a marketable property if the buyer (or the borrower in the lender's eyes) should default on their mortgage. The buyer will pay for the house appraisal, but you should know that it may be different than the market analysis that I provided you.


In addition to an official appraisal, most interested buyers will request a home inspection before final sale. The goal of a home inspection is to give the buyer an objective, independent and comprehensive analysis of the physical condition of your property and check for any safety issues that might otherwise be unknowable.

A professional inspector will check on the structure, construction and mechanical systems of the house. This usually includes checking:

You may be considering ordering an inspection of your home before we place your house on the market. Not knowing the full extent of potential problems until an offer is made by a buyer is a recipe for an ugly negotiation process.

Showing Appointments When an interested buyer is scheduled to see your property, it's best if you, your family and any pets you may own are not in the property. Buying a new home is a very emotional process, and it's sometimes hard for prospective home owners to imagine themselves living in a particular place when the current resident is still inside. I will work with you and the other real estate professionals who will be showing your home to schedule and supervise listing appointments. These home showings will most likely be an inconvenience for you and your family. I will do everything I can to work with you to minimize the impact, but an aggressive showing schedule will help us sell your property quickly, which is our ultimate goal.

Next Read Seller's Guide: Costs of Selling Your Home



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