If Realtors Rewrote The Dictionary: 25 Definitions That Needed An Update!

sarah-dhondt-authorBy Sarah D'Hondt  |  Read Bio


Webster probably invented the dictionary. Then along came Merriam and these two companies have provided us the standard book of word definitions forever. Sometime within the 20th century, the Urban Dictionary was born and added some color to our already-complicated, multi-faceted language which includes slang, ebonics, profanity, and a whole lot of made-up words that people think are real words.

Oddly enough, none of these resources accurately describe a few important words pertaining to real estate. Words, mind you, that Realtors use on a daily basis. Therefore, some tweakage is definitely necessary (btw, “tweakage”is verified by Urban Dictionary as a real word!). I present to you: THE REALTOR’S DICTIONARY.


The act of an appraiser revealing what the home is worth. This person, in less than one hour, can make or break the sale of the home for clients that you’ve invested countless months of time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears on. Waiting for an appraisal report is the longest and most stressful time in a real estate transaction. Copious amounts of alcohol may be consumed during this timeframe.


Person who owns the brokerage, or office, in which you hang your real estate license. The Broker is not to be confused with a boss since Realtors are self-employed. However, the Broker mimics the role of a boss by implementing office policies and procedures. The Broker is who cuts a Realtor’s paycheck, so I guess they technically are the boss.


Person who wants to buy a house. This is pretty much everyone, so Realtors must classify them into categories such as; Unqualified, Lookie-Loo, or Ready-Willing-Able. See individual definitions below.


Person who signs an agreement with a Realtor to represent them as a “Buyers Agent” or “Seller’s Agent”. Once the agreement is signed, Clients tend to become emotional, impatient, excited, nervous, ecstatic and a bit mentally unstable for the duration of time in which the sale is commenced. This is completely normal.


The day the sale of a home becomes official. This is the day when the months of hard-work, sleepless nights, and endless streams of communication end (for this particular client). This is the day the Realtor gets their long-awaited and much deserved paycheck, which is then stripped of its dignity when broker fees are deducted, and MLS fees, marketing costs, state and federal taxes are subtracted. Sometimes a Realtor’s paycheck equates to that of a part-time cashier at Walmart.


The non-negotiable amount of money, which may vary from Realtor to Realtor, that he/she will earn on a sale. Anyone trying to lower this should expect very bad things to happen to them, so don’t even think about it. Would you try to negotiate payment with the brain surgeon about to remove the mass in your head that’s making you think such ridiculousness? Uhh, no. To be clear, commissions are never fixed at a certain rate within a market (that’s a big no-no, and illegal), but again, what a Realtor charges you is generally non-negotiable.


Short for “comparables” and what Realtors rely on to accurately price a home for sale. An appraiser also uses comps to verify the home is priced right, and notoriously uses the lowest selling comp on the street in their appraisal report.


Short for Continuing Education and is a state requirement that all Realtors obtain a mandatory amount of training. Saying “Con-Ed” is what the cool Realtors call it, and no one really enjoys going to Con-Ed, but we love to brag about how much we learned.


The other agent involved in the real estate transaction, and often times, is a good-for-nothing, rude, mean, uncooperative waste of space (this of course excludes any agents who follow the Lighter Side of Real Estate!).

FSBO (Pronounced, “Fizzbo”)

The acronym of “For Sale By Owner” and is a Realtor’s arch nemesis. Any person trying to FSBO is claiming they can do the same job as a Realtor, even when they aren’t a Realtor, and they have no clue of the dozens of things Realtors do for a living. Most times a FSBO will over-price their home, feel overwhelmed with all the calls, emails, and showing requests they may receive, and become a miserable person wishing they hired a Realtor in the first place. Most FSBO’s are too cheap, and assume it costs them a lot of money to hire a Realtor, when in actuality, hiring one will save them money and time!


The greatest thing on earth.


The financial institution that lends money to a buyer to purchase a home. Some lenders have no credibility and don’t take the time to verify the buyer’s assets and income and issue bogus “pre-qualification” letters, which lead to weeks of wasted time, headaches, and broken hearts when the buyers find out they can’t buy their dream home after all. An experienced Realtor can help guide buyers to a legit lender, and refer them to a hard-working loan officer who will do their job right.


A buyer who has nothing better to do than waste a Realtor’s time to go look at houses they aren’t going to buy. This is what the internet is for. And open houses.


The website that allows for virtual hoarding, idea-collecting and sharing. Everyone with a Pinterest account has a board devoted to their dream house, so the website is very real estate related and a great resource for getting ideas and posting links about all things real estate. Also, for the world’s greatest cheesecake recipe, 1001 things to make with wine corks and wood palettes, and how to lose 20 lbs. while eating cheesecake and drinking wine.


The glorious document issued from a loan officer of a credible lender that gives a buyer the permission to start home shopping. Without the pre-approval, there is no point showing homes to these buyers, as it’s a waste of everyone’s time. Do not confuse this with a “Pre-Qualification”, as that document means nothing and is basically all the lies the buyer told the loan officer about his credit and income, and nothing was verified.


An event where a Realtor will allow showings on one of their listings and keep it open to the public for an allocated amount of time. Most open houses welcome in nosey neighbors, competing neighbors wanting to list their homes for sale (but see yours first), lots of lookie-loos and people with nothing better to do. Open houses are often a waste of time and will rarely sell the house, but they can generate buyer leads to the Realtor hosting it.


A buyer who’s received their pre-approval letter and has been promoted to first priority on a Realtor’s radar.


See “Super Hero”


Subject to change, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Basically, a Realtor doesn’t have a schedule and is a multi-taking maniac with super-human time-management skills. Realtors eat schedules for breakfast.

RELATED: Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Realtor?


Person who wants to sell their home. Often times, this person feels their home is worth millions of dollars and doesn’t care that neighborhood comps have sold for less. Sellers often hold an inaccurate, inflated sense of their home’s value because of its updated kitchen knobs, newly painted bathroom, or freshly planted pansies. Sellers also believe everything they see or hear on HGTV and think their $50,000 kitchen remodel will result in them making double of what they paid.


Anything but short. See also; pain in the ass, headache, not worth my time.


When an agent requests to see a home you have for sale, and schedules an allocated time frame in which they will arrive at the home with their buyers. Many times, they are late, early, or don’t show up at all.


See “Realtor”


Error — definition not found. Realtors don’t participate in whatever this is.


The website loathed by many Realtors because of inaccurate “zestimates” and outdated property data. Realtors spend lots of time explaining to their clients why this website is not a valid source of information, constantly ripping it apart or making jokes about it… then will ask them for a good recommendation to add to their Zillow profile once a home closes.