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When you’re searching for a new house, it can be hard enough to find something you like within your price range. Complicating matters further are terms and codes used by real estate agents with which most people aren’t familiar. While this can make the experience that much more frustrating, there is help.

Water: No

This will depend on the location. In urban areas, it may mean no public water utility, suggesting the property may depend on well water. In other areas, this may refer to irrigation accessibility, such as in farming communities.

Regional MLS

The acronym stands for Multiple Listing Service, which means other realtors in the area can access information on the property through a supported service.

Status – Active

This simply refers to a property that is on the market and is still available as opposed to a property upon which a sale is pending.


ADOM may refer to the actual days on the market. CDOM means cumulative days on the market, which also takes into account any period it may have been listed under a different MLS number.


SE – This stands for shared equity and refers to a lender authorizing a loan in exchange for a share of the profit, when you sell the home.

TP – This stands for third party and refers to a neutral individual or party who acts as a go-between for the buyer and seller. The third party will collect the documents and handle monetary transactions involved in the sale.

RG – The Regulatory Guide provides a set of guidelines for real estate agents and brokers in handling the sale of shares in a real estate company.

Future Land Use: RES

This refers to how the local government has zoned the property. In this case, RES stands for residential.

Fee Simple

Refers to ownership of land, especially in common law. It determines that the owner has the absolute right to dispose of the property how he chooses.

Tax ID

The county within which the property exists assigns a number to the property for tax identification purposes. It helps the county to identify it in any records that might exist.

Listing Price May Not Be Sufficient

When a listing suggests that the advertised price could be too low to cover “encumbrances, closing cost or other seller charges,” this could indicate a short sale. This means there may be additional charges or liens against the property, even after closing costs have been paid. The real estate agent should arrange for all outstanding debts to be released, so you can buy the property with a clear title.

These are some of the most commonly seen terms in real estate listings. If you see other terms that confuse you, don’t be afraid to ask your realtor. They’re there to help you make the home buying process as painless as possible.