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Wendy Valko

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Real Estate Terminology 


It's not enough to merely educate one's self on selling & buying strategies, mortgage application, short sales and the closing process. Buyers & Sellers must also navigate through a sea of unfamiliar legalese, home building lingo and real estate jargon.


The glossary below is by no means complete or a substitute for the careful guidance of Wendy, "Your Current Experienced Realtor".   This can serve as a good primer for getting your feet wet in real estate.



Agency - The relationship of trust that exists between buyers or sellers and their agents. The agency is formed via a written contract.

Amortization - The process of paying the principal and the interest on a mortgage through regularly scheduled payments.

Appraised Value - A licensed appraiser's opinion of the current market value of a property.

Assessed Value - A tax assessor's determination of the value of a home in order to calculate a tax base.

Breezeway - A roofed passage way with open sides.

Capital improvement - Any improvement that extends the life or increases the value of a piece of property.

Comparable sales - Recent sales of similar properties in nearby areas and used to help determine the market value of a property. Also referred to as "comps."

Contingency - A provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met. One example is a buyer's contractual right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home.

Dry Rot - Decay of seasoned wood caused by fungus.

Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) - A deposit made by the potential home buyer as evidence of good faith that he or she is serious about buying the house.

Easement - A right or interest in the use of the land of another which entitles the holder to some use, privilege or benefit, such as to place power lines, pipe lines or roads. breviations in Listing

The agents shorthand found in listing ads can be baffeling.  Below are some common acronyms & abbreviations found on listings. 

AGP - Above Ground Pool
ATT - Attached
CA, CAC -Central Air Conditioning
CH/BW - Chain Link/Barbed Wire
EIK - Eat-in-kitchen
FDR - Formal dining room
FP - Fireplace
FSBO - For Sale By Owner
Gar - Garage
S - For Sale
L - For Lease
P - Pended
CCS - Accepted offer but continuing to show


Short sales and foreclosures are the current hot topic in real estate with many of these types of transactions coming across the Escrow Officers desk. Foreclosures and short sales are often confused but they are two distinct processes supported by their own individual terminology. Following is a summary of many of the most common terms that a buyer and seller will experience in purchasing/selling either a foreclosure or short sale property.

9 Ways to Avoid Foreclosure:


REINSTATMENT:  Bring the loan current

FOREBEARANCE:  Temporary repayment plan

REFINANCE:  New loan with reduction in monthly payments

LOAN MODIFICATION:  Modify original loan terms

SELL THE PROPERTY:  Use equity to payoff or pay difference

SHORT SALE:  Negotiatie with the bank to accept sale under loan amount

DEED IN LIEW OF FORECLOSURE:  "friendly foreclosure"

BANKRUPTCY:  Will stall foreclosure but not prevent it



Short Sales

Short Sale -  When a lender agrees to accept less then what is owed on the mortgage and release its lien on the property.


Pre-Foreclosure -  The period beginning with initial mortgage default up to when the distressed property is sold

Notice of Default (NOD) - Official notice from the lender that the Borrower has defaulted. The NOD formally starts the foreclosure process and it outlines the reinstatement period.

Reinstatement Period -  The time frame stipulated in the NOD that the borrower has to reinstate the loan by making payments and bringing account back to good standing.

Trustee Sale (Sheriff Sale) -  If after the reinstatement period has expired the loan is still in default the lender can then sell the property as soon as 21 days after the Notice of Trustee Sale is recorded.

Publication Period -  Begins once the redemption period has expired and must be at least 21 Days prior to trustee Sale.  A notice is published once a week for three weeks in the local newspaper.

Notice of Trustee Sale (NTS) -  Recorded document explaining when and where the foreclose sale will be held.

Redemption Period -  The time period that the distressed borrower has to redeem the loan after the NOD is recorded. In California, that time period is 90 days. (not to be confused with statutory right of redemption)

Statutory Right of Redemption - One year after the Trustee Sale the borrower can make payment of loan in full plus costs to redeem.

Real Estate Owned (REO) -  The status of the property when the ownership is transferred involuntarily from the homeowner to the bank.



The Property is Upside Down -  This phrase is commonly used to describe a situation where the amount due on the existing loan is higher than what the property is appraised for or will sell for.

Loss Mitigation Department -  The department at the lender that is responsible for reviewing all short sale documentation, ordering a BPO, and approving or denying short sale.

BPO: Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) -  Typically ordered by lender, is a property valuation report to help determine what the property might sell for.



                                                          Wendy Valko    +        =    RESULTS           

        For a no obligation, confidential discussion regarding real estate contact Wendy at 248-762-5290 or at email

Professionally Servicing but not limited to:

 Oakland, Livingston, Genesee, Wayne & Washtenaw Counties


Wendy Valko is a licensed Real Estate Agent that has elected to partner with RE/MAX International and RE/MAX Platinum.  RE/MAX Platinum consists of four physical branches; Fenton mi, Hartland mi, Brighton mi, & Ann Arbor mi.  Along with full access to each physical location, Wendy has a home based office in Milford MI, virtual office and  mobile.  All this allowing Wendy to professionally specialize in but not limit herself to Milford mi, Highland mi, Commerce Twp mi, Hartland mi, Brighton mi and Howell Michigan. 




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