Friday, February 28, 2014

Key Real Estate Terms

I spend hours every day looking at listings online. It's part of my job to know what's out there, and of course to know what all the terms mean. However, I got to thinking today, what questions do most people have when looking at listings online? So, I had my husband, Robert, look at some listings on one of the main-stream real estate search engines, to see what questions he would have. Here's what we found:

Robert: "Under 'status', what does CNTG/No Ko mean?"

CNTG/No Ko: This is an abbreviation for 'Contingent, No Kick-Out'. This means that the listing you're looking at has a ratified contract, meaning that the contract and all terms have been agreed upon and signed by both the buyer and seller. The 'No Kick-Out' part means that there are contingencies on the contract (such as Home Inspection or Appraisal), but the seller is not able to accept any other offers at this time. The alternative is:

CNTG/KO: This is the abbreviation for 'Contingent, with Kick-Out'. This means that there is a ratified contract on the property, but the buyer has put a contingency on the contract for the sale of their current residence. In other words, this buyer will have to sell their current home, before they can buy this new one. A buyer would include this type of contingency if they need the proceeds from that sale in order to pay for the new house. The 'Kick-Out' means that the seller is able to continue to market this property and accept other offers. The buyer will be given a period of time for the Kick-Out, should the seller receive another offer, to either satisfy or remove the contingency (meaning sell their house or find a way to pay for the new house without selling their current house). If the buyer is not able to do so within the time-frame agreed upon within the contract, the seller is free to accept the other offer, and therefore "kick-out" the current contract.

Robert: "Because I'm spatially challenged... in layman's terms, how big is an acre?"

If you want specifics, an acre is 43,560 square feet. So, an acre is roughly the size of a football field from goal-line to goal-line (meaning without the end-zones.) An acre is slightly smaller than that, but it can be a good reference for those who are visual-learners.

Robert: "I'm looking at a listing that just has a street name but no house number. What does that mean?"

This can generally mean two things. The most common is that it's new construction, and the builder is advertising a model of house that they are building in a given neighborhood, but not a specific house. (Because it hasn't been built yet!) The alternative is that the seller has chosen not to advertise their exact address. This is a choice that all sellers have when putting together a listing agreement. You will easily be able to determine which is the correct scenario once you look at the pictures and/or description of the property. You can also look at the age of the home... if it says '0', it's new construction. ;)

These are just a few common questions that you may have when looking at a listing online, but if you have any questions of your own, feel free to reach out to me directly. I'll be happy to answer any of your questions!