For many first-time homebuyers or sellers, the real estate industry can be incredibly intimidating from the surface. Financial planning, qualifying for loans, touring houses, staging your home, signing papers – there’s a lot involved. But with the guidance of one of our Nathan Grace agents, you do not have to be alone in this process. We’re committed to educating you every step of the way so that you feel comfortable and confident.

A great place to start for those new to real estate is to familiarize yourself with the everyday lingo. We’ve compiled a go-to vocabulary list for you to use when the inevitable “what exactly does that mean?” question comes up.


The process of developing an opinion of the value for real property as of a specified date and supported by objective data.

Buyer’s Agent

A real estate agent, broker, or salesperson, who represents a buyer’s best interests.


Transfer of real property ownership from seller to buyer, according to the terms and conditions in a sales contract or escrow agreement; final stage in real estate transaction.


A fee charged by a broker or agent for his/her service in facilitating a transaction. In Texas, average commission is three percent for sell and three percent for buy.


A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding, or before a sale is to be completed.


Systems in which things of value (i.e. money or documents) are held on behalf of parties to a transaction by a disinterested third party (escrow agent) until specific conditions have been satisfied.


The legal process that begins when a borrower fails to make payments to a lender on a mortgaged property. Should the borrower not be able to correct the default, the property will be sold at public auction to satisfy the debt.


A limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home.

Listing Agent

A real estate agent that represents the seller of the property.


A legal document signed by borrower(s) and promising a property to the lender in return for payment of a debt.

Mortgage Lender

Banks, mortgage banks or other financial institutions that issue loans. Lenders control the whole process – from application to underwriting to funding the mortgage.

Option Period

A provisional period (usually 10 days) that allows a buyer to have a certain number of days to “option out” of the contract and only lose the “option fee” but not the earnest money.

Title Company

A company involved in examining and insuring title claims for real estate purposes. The company verifies ownership of real property and determines the valid owner through a thorough examination of property records in a title search.

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