Details On Frequently Used Real Estate Terminology In MA

The real estate steps are elaborate enough from the start. Real estate terminology can complicate it further, especially if it is your first time buying a home. In this article you will find details on frequently used real estate terminology in MA. This will help simplify the home buying and selling process.

Frequently Used Real Estate Terminology In MA


CMA stands for Comparative Market Analysis. This is a document that compares your real estate to homes with similar features that sold recently in the same neighborhood. It traditionally details a price range for which your home might sell in the specific market.


MLS is an acronym for Multiple Listing Service. This is a system where members of the MLS enter properties for sale. States commonly have different MLS systems, and some states may have multiple ones. The general public is not given direct access to this listings but may receive access from authorized parties.

Assessed Value

This is the valuation calculated for homes by a public tax assessor and used to estimate real estate property taxes. Assessed figures have no relevance to the selling price of a home.

Final Walk-Thru

Walk-thrus traditionally occur shortly prior to a closing. It allows a buyer to quickly view a home and to check that the condition has not altered from the last time the buyer visited it.

Contract Terms


A contingency is a condition that must be completed for an individual to move forward with a home sale or purchase. For example, the ability to purchase may be contingent on the sale of their current property. Other typical contingencies are for performance of a home inspection and successful receipt of a home loan commitment.

Good Faith Deposits

Good faith deposits refers to money given by a buyer as part of a agreement to purchase a property. It confirms that a buyer is committed and is moving forward in good faith. Deposits are traditionally retained by the listing agency for a seller and returned to a buyer at closing.

Closing Date

A closing is when paperwork is signed, money is exchanged, and a property legally transfers from one person to another. P&S agreements should have a closing date and location specified.

Additional Information on Real Estate Terminology

This blog provides details on frequently used real estate terminology in MA and covers only the most introductory terms. For more detailed real estate information and guidance, contact John Wells at 978-518-1481 or


About Editor-John P. Wells

I am a resident of Newburyport and have worked in education, high tech and urban development. My interests in architecture and construction are invaluable to my clients. For more information please visit the Wellsco website.