Southern NH Real Estate Lingo 101

Always Seek Knowledge spelled out with letter cubesDo you know how closing costs actually work? Or, how you’d use a CMA (comparative market analysis) to evaluate Southern NH real estate? And, can you decipher all of the abbreviations and acronyms, such as FDR, HOA dues and MLS?  There are many Real Estate specific terms and acronyms that can confuse buyers and sellers.

Purchasing or selling a home is challenging enough without having to go through the frustration of decoding all the complicated speak and legalese. If you brush up with a real estate dictionary before beginning your home-buying search or interviewing potential listing agents, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and save yourself a lot of time and confusion in the long run.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet of real estate terms every Southern NH real estate buyer or seller should know …

ARM – This stands for Adjustable-Rate Mortgage, which is a type of mortgage where the interest rate periodically adjusts.

BOM – The abbreviation for Back on Market, which means that a property which was under contract is now back on the market (contract fell through).

Closing – When paperwork is signed by both parties finalizing transfer of ownership of real estate from Seller(s) to Buyer(s).

Closing costs – These are miscellaneous expenses buyers and sellers pay upon closing; they usually include brokerage commission, escrow taxes, recording fees, etc.

CMA – This stands for Comparative Market Analysis, which is a report of recently sold, comparable homes in the same market as the home you’re selling.  Agents prepare CMAs to help determine the appropriate listing price for your property.

Contingency – The standard purchase agreement for NH contains several optional contingencies, or conditions, which must be satisfied in order for the deal to reach a closing.  Inspections and Financing are the most common contingencies, but Short Sale Approval contingencies are far more prevalent than in the past, while Sale of Buyer’s Home contingencies are less common.

Contract – A fully signed and dated agreement between Seller(s) and Buyer(s) regarding the exchange of real estate for money.

DOM – Days on Market.  This should be self-explanatory, but remember that it is less important exactly what that number is and more important how it compares to the DOM of recently sold properties.

FDR – Formal Dining Room

Fixture – Anything that is permanently attached to the home, such as door knobs, carpeting, light fixtures and landscaping. The seller’s removal of items considered fixtures by the buyer and viewed as personal property by the seller is a common cause of buyer and seller disputes. When in doubt, get it in writing.

FP or FPLC or FRPLC – Fireplace

HDWD – Hard Wood Floors

HOA dues – Dues paid to the Homeowners Association (Lo dues would indicate that the HOA dues are considered to be low for the area – just make sure they aren’t too low!)

MLS – Multiple Listing Service, which is an organization that compiles multiple listings into one report and distributes it to all of their realty members.

Offer – The offer to purchase real estate made by an interested buyer.  In some states, there is a separate offer form, but in NH the offer form and purchase agreement are the same form.  An offer does not become a contract until all parties have signed & dated it and been notified of such.

P&S – Short for Purchase and Sales agreement, or the contract between Buyer(s) and Seller(s) regarding the planned transfer of ownership for the referenced parcel(s) 0f real estate property.

PSF – Per Square Foot

Sale price – The actual price at which the property sells.

SSFSH – Subject to Seller Finding Suitable Housing.  Seller hasn’t yet found a house they are interested in buying and may want any contract they sign to contain a contingency for them finding a home they want within a set number of days or weeks from the contract date.

Don’t let the hectic housing market overwhelm you. If you understand Southern NH real estate lingo, you’ll be more knowledgeable and better positioned to easily achieve your real estate goals.

If you have questions about any of these terms or want help achieving your real estate goals, call us at 603-821-1134 or email us at for more information.