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Real Estate Terms for Sellers

Selling a home can be stressful. The act of getting it ready alone can be daunting. The fixing, painting, and fluffing is the beginning of the process. Once that part is done the real selling begins. The terminology used by real estate agents can be confusing. This confusion, especially for first time home sellers, can lead to unnecessary stress.

A few real estate terms for sellers that can be helpful to have a handle on when it is time to list and sell your home are MLS, CMA, pre-listing appraisal, and listing agreement. As with everything else, the more you know, the better off you are. Here’s a little primer to help you.

Listing Appointment: Meeting with a real estate agent to interview them for the job of selling your home. A good fit is a must, as this agent will be telling the world how amazing your home is. Find an agent that has both experience in the market and at the negotiation table. After all, you want to get the most out of your investment. The meeting is also a chance for the agent to evaluate your home in order to price it correctly.

MLS: Multiple Listing Service to which agents subscribe to share information on properties they have listed with other real estate agents, inviting them to help find a buyer.

CMA or Comparable Market Analysis : This is the term used for the professional report that real estate agents create using the MLS system to search for homes that are for sale or have recently sold that are similar to yours. This can include the perimeters of neighborhoods, number of bedrooms/baths, age of home, square footage, etc. The report helps decide what the fair comparable price for your home is.

Pre-Listing Appraisal: A home appraisal used to help get correct pricing when relative comparable analysis is not available. This is often used for custom homes and for neighborhoods where homes have not sold recently. Sometimes used for peace of mind for sellers who have owned their home for decades.

Listing Agreement: A binding legal agreement a seller enters into with a Realtor, allowing them a certain amount of time to sell their home. This includes such things as agreement to percentage of commission, the right to list your home on the MLS system, to show your home and to allow your home to be shown.

Disclosure: Document where you reveal to the best of your knowledge the condition of your home. This includes age of home, water heater and roof, how many bedrooms and baths your home has and details such as the power source and age of your HVAC.


A knowledgeable agent will lead you through this process as a partner. Chattanooga Property Shop has two qualified lead agents, Lisa Brown and Diane Patty. They have years of experience in helping sellers have the best experiences when selling their homes. Contact us today to schedule your complimentary listing appointment.

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