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5 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

By Movoto Real Estate

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Navigating the world of real estate can be a quagmire in and of itself without getting crippled by confusing terms. While most buyers and sellers can grasp the significance of a home's list price and the size of house, other terms might leave them scratching their heads.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned investor, below are five real estate terms you should know.

1. Sale-price-to-list-price ratio
In many ways real estate is a numbers game, and the better a person understands the numbers the more likely they will make a smart decision. The sale-to-list-price ratio is a way for people to gauge how well their agent understands a local market.

What is the sale-to-list ratio? For the mathematically inclined, it is the final sale price (what a homebuyer actually pays for a home) divided by the list price and expressed as a percentage.

If the figure is above 100%, the house sold for more than the list price. Conversely, if the figure is below 100%, the home sold for less than the list price.

We know this can be difficult to understand, so here is an example: If a home was listed for $100,000 and sold for $80,000, the sale-to-list ratio would be 80% ($80,000/$100,000).

The value of the sale-to-list ratio comes when you look at an agent's sale-to-list ratio. An agent's sale-to-list ratio should be near 100%. If the percentage is low, it means the agent routinely lists homes for more than they sell for. If the number is high, the agent might have a track record of negotiating for a higher price tag.

A problem, however, is that it can be difficult to find this ratio, even in the information age. One valuable resource is neighborcity.com. In addition, your agent should be willing to provide you with information.

Tip: A good agent will have a high sale-to-list ratio, meaning that they understand the local real estate market.

2. Median days on market
Speed is sacred in real estate. The faster a piece of property sells, the better it is for everyone involved. The buyer gets to move into their home, the seller collects funds and both real estate agents are paid.

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