Home buyers confused by listing lingo

REThink Real Estate

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Q: I'm thinking about moving up. I've just started browsing through real estate listings online. But it seems like every other listing I see has some arcane notation in it. The house descriptors are easy enough to figure out, but there's lots of stuff in there that I don't recall seeing when I bought my first home 12 years ago, and that I don't really get, things like "Not a Short Sale," "REO," "Subj to lender's approval," and the like. What does this stuff mean, and which of these things should I care about? A: It's not at all bizarre that you feel so out of the loop; even those of us in the real estate business continually face a steep learning curve to stay up to speed on new developments in this rapidly changing market. What you are seeing is a slate of lingo that is entirely new to those of us in geographic markets where very few short sales and foreclosures existed two years ago. Need-to-Knows First, some basics. A short sale is a propert...