Real Estate in Layman’s Terms

Real Estate is one of those industries which sometimes gets too difficult to understand! At Accent Realtors, we have a mission: educate and communicate to the general public about our industry, so that we all grow and learn. Here’s our first  article explaining some things in Layman’s terms!

1. CMA (also known as Comps or Comparables)

Acronym of “Comparative Market Analysis”. They are reports prepared by agents for buyers or sellers. The goal is to understand market trends about a certain neighborhood’s values. It helps the buyer determine if they are paying a fair price for the house that they are thinking about purchasing. It also helps the sellers to decide on the asking price of the property that they are going to list.

2. MLS

Acronym of Multiple Listing Service. Agent’s don’t use Trulia, Zillow or as their main working tools. What they use instead is the MLS, an advance central database that feeds all the other sites. Properties are directly listed in the MLS. There, an agent can see current and past listings information, tax records, property condition reports, use financial calculators or access to different forms and contracts needed for the transaction.

3. Real Estate Agents vs Real Estate Brokers

Both are licensed professionals qualified to provide real estate services, who have to pass licensing exams. But brokers have gone one step beyond in their education, and they can create their own real estate firm, hire other brokers and agents, or work for other brokers.  In contrast, agents who are not brokers, can only work under the supervision of a broker. They cannot start their own real estate company, hire other agents or work alone.

4. Pending

When an offer on a property has been accepted by the seller, but the actual closing hasn’t taken place, we say that a house is “pending”. For different reasons, a closing can be delayed or cancelled, due to last minute financing problems, breaches of contract, or repairs needed. That´s why a few sellers decide to still show their homes when they are pending.


For Sale By Owner. It’s pretty self-explanatory if the acronym is not used, isn’t it? Unfortunately many FSBO’s go in without experience and sell for less than what they could have if listed with a real estate agent.

Do you have a term you want us to explain?

Let us know and we will be glad to help you at We would love to hear your suggestions and questions for our next “Real Estate in Layman’s Terms”. Let us know a topic you are interested in!

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