Glossary

houseFrank Failla, licensed Long Island Real Estate Agent is here to help you with all your buying and selling needs on Long Island. An important part of buying or selling a house is understanding the real estate process. Before you list your house or begin the search for the perfect Long Island home, read about some of the terms used in real estate so you can approach the process as an educated consumer.


Agency: the relationship of trust created between a real estate agent and a buyer or seller, where the client gives the agent the right to represent him or her in buying or selling a home.

Broker: an individual who is licensed to represent one of the parties in a real estate transaction

Buyer’s agent: a broker or real estate agent who works exclusively in the best interests of the home buyer in a real estate transaction

Buyer’s market: a situation many homes for sale are available at favorable prices

Closing: the transfer of home ownership from the seller to buyer, the final step of a real estate deal

Closing costs: expenses incurred in the purchase of a home, including appraisal fees, title insurance, attorney fees, real estate agent commissions, etc. which are charged in addition to the purchase price of the property

Escrow: money held on behalf of parties in a transaction by an uninvolved third party until all conditions of a real estate sale have been met

Foreclosure: when ownership of a property is involuntarily transferred because the owner defaulted on debts secured by the property, most often banks foreclose on homes where the owner has failed to pay the mortgage

Listing agreement: a written contract between a homeowner and a real estate broker, detailing the rights and responsibilities of each when selling a home

Mortgage: a loan granted to a real estate buyer for which there is an agreed upon promise to pay the loan and any accumulated financing fees

Pre-approval: a written commitment from a mortgage lender which calculates financial considerations and records including income, debt, tax forms, bank statements and credit scores to determine the amount a buyer can realistically expect to be granted for a mortgage

Pre-qualification: a non-binding quote from a mortgage lender which informs a potential seller of the dollar amount he or she may be approved for when applying for an actual mortgage

Seller’s market: a situation in the housing market when there are more buyers than available houses for sale, making the available properties more desirable, often driving house prices up

Short sale: a sale of real estate in which the proceeds from  sale of the home will fall short of the balance owed on a defaulted mortgage, and the lien holders agree to accept less than the amount owed

Title insurance: an insurance policy that protects the lender and homeowner from loss arising from disputes over ownership that was not found during the title search

Underwriting: the process of evaluating and deciding to approve a new loan by mortgage companies


Are you ready to take the first step in buying or selling your Long Island home? Do you have more questions about real estate terms, or the current real estate market?

Contact Long Island realtor Frank Failla today and get started on your real estate journey.