Real Estate Glossary
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Learn the Lingo: Real Estate Terms, Realtor Designations & Acronyms

Like any industry, the real estate business has its own language. Here are some of the key terms you need to know.

Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR)

The ABR education provides Realtors with what they need to stay competitive in today's market. Member benefits such as marketing tools, a referral network and other resources, help to promote their business. Courses for the designation are available both in the classroom and online.

Accredited Buyer's Representative Manager (ABRM)

The ABRMs real estate broker course was developed for managers, brokers and owners who wish to better incorporate buyer representation into their company’s service offerings. Designees have taken and passed both the ABR and ABRM course and provided documentation of past management experience. Courses for the designation are available both in the classroom and online.

Accredited Land Consultant (ALC)

The Realtors Land Institute serves a unique constituency in the real estate industry -– those who broker, lease, sell, develop, and manage land assets, including vacant, transitional land; agricultural and pastureland; timberland; and ranch and recreational properties. Through its rigorous Land University curriculum, the Realtors Land Institute confers its Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation to only those real estate practitioners who achieve the highest level of education, experience and professionalism.

Average Percent of Original List Price Received

The average of the sale price (as a percentage of the original list price) across all properties selling during the month

The Average Percent of Original List Price Received is an indicator of market conditions, in that in a recovering market, the measure rises as buyers realize that the market may be moving away from them and they need to match the selling price (or better it) in order to get a contract on the house.This is usually the last measure to indicate a market that has shifted from down to up, and is another lagging indicator.

Average Sale Price

The average sale price reported for the month (i.e. total sales in dollars divided by the number of sales)

For home prices, Average Sale Price is generally not as effective a term as Median Sale Price as a summary statistic for home prices. However, Average Sale Price is useful when it is analyzed alongside the Median Sale Price. The relative difference between the two statistics can provide some insight into the market for higher-end homes in an area.

Cash Sales

The number of Closed Sales during the month in which buyers exclusively paid in cash

Cash Sales can be a useful indicator of the extent to which investors are participating in the market. Why? Investors are far more likely to have the funds to purchase a home available up front, whereas the typical home buyer requires a mortgage or some other form of financing. There are, of course, many possible exceptions, so this statistic should be interpreted with care.

Cash Sales as a Percentage of Closed Sales

The percentage of Closed Sales during the month which were Cash Sales

This statistic is simply another way of viewing Cash Sales. The remaining percentages of Closed Sales (i.e. those not paid fully in cash) each month involved some sort of financing such as mortgages, owner/seller financing, assumed loans, etc.

Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)

A Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) is a recognized expert in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate.

Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS)

The CIPS designation is the specialty membership group for international practitioners of the National Association of Realtors.

Closed Sales

The number of sales transactions that closed during the month. Closed Sales are one of the simplest – yet most important – indicators for the residential real estate market. When comparing Closed Sales across markets of different sizes, we recommend using the year-over-year percent changes rather than the absolute counts. Realtors and their clients should also be wary of month-to-month comparisons of Closed Sales because of potential seasonal effects.

Certified Property Manager (CPM)

CPM designees are recognized as experts in real estate management. Holding this designation demonstrates expertise and integrity to employers, owners, and investors.

Certified Real Estate Broker (CRB)

The Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) is one of the most respected and relevant designations offered in real estate business management and is awarded to REALTORS® who have completed advanced educational and professional requirements. CRB Designees are better positioned to streamline operations, integrate new technology and apply new trends and business strategies. Join today and discover a new approach to enhancing knowledge and leveraging opportunity.

Counselor or Real Estate (CRE)

The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) is an international association of real estate professionals who provide advisory services to clients on real property and land-related matters.

Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)

The CRS designation is the highest credential awarded to residential sales agents, managers, and brokers. On average, CRS designees earn nearly three times more in income, transactions, and gross sales than non-designee REALTORS®.

General Accredited Appraiser (GAA)

For general appraisers, this designation is awarded to those whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements and is supported by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI)

Members involved in residential real estate who want to further their education will seek to earn the GRI designation.

Inventory (Active Listings)

The number of property listings active at the end of the month. There are a number of ways to calculate Inventory, so these numbers may not match up to other you see in your market.We calculate Inventory by counting the number of active listings on the last day of the month, and hold this number to compare with the same month the following year.

Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM)
IREM's mission is to educate real estate managers, certify their competence and professionalism, serve as an advocate on issues affecting the real estate management industry, and enhance its members? professional competence so they can better identify and meet the needs those who use their services.

Median Sale Price

The median sale price reported for the month (i.e. 50% of sales were above and 50% of sales were below). Median Sale Price is the preferred summary statistic for price activity because, unlike Average Sale Price, Median Sale Price is not sensitive to high sale prices for small numbers of homes that may not be characteristic of the market area.

Median Days on Market Until Sale

The median number of days that properties sold during the month were on the market. Median Days on Market is the amount of time the "middle" property selling this month was on the market.That is, 50% of homes selling this month took less time to sell, and 50% of homes took more time to sell.We use the median rather than the average because the median is not particularly sensitive to sales of homes that took an unusually large amount of time to sell relative to the vast majority of homes in the market.

Months Supply of Inventory

An estimate of the number of months it will take to deplete the current Inventory given recent sales rates. This is an indicator of the state of the market, whether it is a buyers' market or a sellers' market. The benchmark for a balanced market (favoring neither buyer nor seller) is 5.5 Months of Inventory. Higher numbers indicate a buyers' market, lower numbers a sellers' market.

New Listings

The number of properties put onto the market during the month. In a recovering market, we expect that new listings will eventually rise as sellers raise their estimations of value. But this increase will take place only after the market has turned up, so New Listings are a lagging indicator of the health of the market. Also be aware of properties which have been withdrawn from the market and then relisted. These are not really New Listings.

Pending Sales

The number of property listings that went from "Active" to "Pending" status during the month. Because of the typical length of time it takes for a sale to close, economists consider Pending Sales to be a decent indicator of potential future Closed Sales. It is important to bear in mind, however, that not all Pending Sales will be closed successfully. So, the effectiveness of Pending Sales as a future indicator of Closed Sales is susceptible to changes in market conditions such as the availability of financing for homebuyers and the inventory of distressed properties for sale.

Performance Management Network (PMN)

This designation is unique to the REALTOR® family designations, emphasizing that in order to enhance your business, you must enhance yourself. It focuses on negotiating strategies and tactics, networking and referrals, business planning and systems, personal performance management and leadership development.

Real Estate Business Institute (REBI)

The Institute confers the Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) Designation, while continuously providing members with the educational, informational and networking resources necessary to compete and succeed in the real estate marketplace.

Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council (REBAC)

REBAC is the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer.

Residential Accredited Appraiser (RAA)

For residential appraisers, this designation is awarded to those whose education and experience exceed state appraisal certification requirements and is supported by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Residential Real Estate Council (RRC)

RRC designees focus on home buying and selling, ethical standards, technological expertise, in-depth knowledge of neighborhoods, a high level of professionalism and commitment and an ability to maximize client profits and minimize client costs.

Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS)

RSPS is recognized as an official NAR Certification, and allows buyers and sellers to have confidence in the ability of a REALTOR® who specializes in buying, selling or management of properties for investment, development, retirement, or second homes in a resort, recreational and/or vacation destination, to assist them with their search.

Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)

The Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation is the premier credential in seller representation. It is designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. The designation is awarded to real estate practitioners by the Real Estate Business Institute (REBI) who meet specific educational and practical experience criteria.

Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR)

The SIOR designation is held by only the most knowledgeable, experienced, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists. To earn it, designees must meet standards of experience, production, education, ethics, and provide recommendations.

Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)

The SRES® Designation program educates Realtors on how to profitably and ethically serve the real estate needs of the fastest growing market in real estate, clients age 50+. By earning the SRES® designation, you gain access to valuable member benefits, useful resources, and networking opportunities across the U.S. and Canada to help you in your business.

Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR)

The Council is a community of real estate professionals creating business opportunities, developing skills for the future and achieving individual potential for success.