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Real Estate Abbreviations & Terminology selling your home

Real Estate Abbreviations & Terminology

44 Common Real Estate Abbreviations and Acronyms

Are you confused about real estate abbreviations or listing terminology? Do you feel like real estate agents are trying to confuse you with real estate terms and real estate acronyms?

Confusing real estate abbreviations
Are real estate acronyms and abbreviations confusing you?

If you’re working with real estate brokers in the search of a new home, most likely you are receiving MLS® real estate listings via the new Keystone Matrix® system. My buyers are always asking me to explain what some of the real estate abbreviations or real estate terminology stands for, so I thought I might create this post to help everyone out.

Generally from the top of the listing sheet on down, here is the list of abbreviations

Real Estate Abbreviations List

DOM: Days On Market reflects how many days since the home has been listed by the agent

Townhome style of housing

TYPE: This refers to one of the 4 different types of homes the listing service is displaying. They are:

RD = Residential Detached. This is the most common type of house, the one most people think of when looking at homes.

SA = Single Attached (Side by Side). These are two residences which share one common wall. They are cheaper to build, and therefor less expensive to purchase as well

TH = Townhouse. Usually found in rows of 4, 6 or even more. One long building which has a number of separate homes. The end units share one wall, while all interior units actually share 2 common walls.

MH = Mobile Home. Generally means a home which is located in a mobile home park. Careful here, as a ‘mobile home’ might actually be firmly attached to a foundation, and thus become real property.

TAX AMOUNT: This is supposed to be the TOTAL GROSS property taxes, including all Education Taxes, Local Improvements etc. As an owner-occupant, you would qualify for a $700 Provincial Rebate

RMA: Means Rooms Above Ground level. This indicates the total number of rooms such as any formal dining room, kitchen and living room, but NOT bathrooms or powder room, etc.

Real Estate Abbreviations & Terminology selling your home

BDA: Bedrooms Above Ground. Includes the master bedroom and all secondary bedrooms located above ground level

TBD: Total Bedrooms (including basement bedrooms). This is how you can tell how many bedrooms are in the basement. Simply subtract the BDA from the TBD and see that the basement has 2 bedrooms, for example. Careful here: Just because a property sellers are listing it as a bedroom, does not necessarily mean it fits the legal description of a bedroom.

FB: Number of full Bathrooms (a “FULL” bathroom has at least 3 pieces, so for example: toilet, sink and shower, or toilet, sink and tub)

HB: Number of half Bathrooms (a half bath might have only 1 piece, such as a toilet, or just a sink, but most often has 2 pieces)

EN: Ensuite, which refers to a bathroom that is accessible from a bedroom directly

Exterior: Refers to the exterior surface of the home’s walls. Most common in Winnipeg is stucco, but could also include brick, siding (including vinyl and aluminum siding) and wood.

Foundation: Most common is concrete, but older homes often feature STONE or sometimes Cinderblock or even brick. In the 1980s there was a fad for ‘Preserved Wood’ foundations.

Home heating radiator

Heating: Most common is ‘forced air’ which indicates central heat (preferred). Other options might be Hot Water (radiators) or electric (baseboard heaters).

Heating Fuel: Indicates whether it is gas or electricity. Some new home builders are making the switch to electric furnaces. Careful as even in our province, producing heat with electricity is substantially more expensive than producing it with natural gas.

Basement: Full. This means that the area size of the foundation is the same as the main floor. It does not mean the basement is finished, as this is indicated in another section.

Unfinished basement
Unfinished basement

Other options for the basement category are: crawl, slab, half and 3/4. Real estate professionals should be able to point out the differences, benefits and shortcomings, of each type of basement construction.

Square Feet: I’ve had clients try to add up all the room measurements of a listing, and come to the conclusion that the 1,200 ft home is really just 850 square feet. While they are correct, this is not how buildings are measured and advertised.

The proclaimed total square footage of a house is the OUTSIDE measurements which includes all 4-season living space, excluding the garage. It includes ONLY the areas above ground, so for example the main floor, second floor and third floor if there is one. It does NOT include the basement, UNLESS there is a crawl space under that part of the basement.

For further explanation, see this article on how homes are measured. and remember that different provinces and states might have different rules.


Garage – AT or DT. This refers to the car garage which can be either attached or detached. Confusion here sometimes as an ‘attached garage’ might be physically attached, but not have a direct door leading into the house.

S/S: Showings Start date. NO showings can occur BEFORE that date

OTP: Offer To Purchase date. That the is FIRST date when offers can be considered.

In addition to the above listing terms, you will probably come across many of the next acronyms used by the listing agent in their advertisements

Real Estate Acronyms

A/C or C/Air: Central Air Conditioning

APPL: Appliances (personal property)

ATT or DT: Attached or Detached also refers to single-family home vs. attached home.

CLG: Ceiling

C/Vac: Central Vacuum

CC: Clothes Closet or possibly “WICC” as in Walk-In Clothes Closet

AT/2 or DT/2: Attached double or detached double (as in garage)

EE and HE: Energy Efficient and High Efficient

F/Fin: Fully Finished

HWFS and HWDS: Hardwood floors and simply Hardwoods

S/S or SS indicating stainless steel (as in appliances)

WDW: Windows

WDWK: Woodwork (as referring to baseboards and window casings)

Im hoping that this list of most common terms is of great value to you.

If you’re thinking of buying a house or a condo in Winnipeg, call me for a free buyer consultation. There is a lot of information which is difficult to convey in a blog post but I’d be happy to discuss in person.

Confused our stumped by other real estate listings abbreviations?  Ask me in the comments, or email me anytime

Bo Kauffmann of Remax performance realty.


Below is the audio version of my popular post : Closing Costs When Buying A House Or Condo In Winnipeg.

Let’s see some real listings


If you’re thinking of buying a home, please be sure to check out “Buying a house or condo in Winnipeg; 6 important steps”


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Top 10 Questions to ask your Real Estate Listing Agent (Video) selling your home

Top 10 Questions to ask your Real Estate Listing Agent (Video)

If you’re thinking of selling your house or condo, and do not know a real estate listing agent, you’re likely going to interview a couple of REALTORS®.  Here is a list of 10 questions to ask them BEFORE you hire them.  Plus one question you should NEVER ask.

However, how do we pre-select the listing agent in the first place?   Here are a couple of tips to get you started:

1. Ask a friend or relative for a recommendation

Odds are that you know someone who has used a Listing Agent in the past year or two.  Were they happy with that agent?  Ask them for blunt and frank feedback on how the sale of their home went.

2. Check the local Better Business Bureau

Some Listing Agents in Winnipeg are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.  Check their reviews, and complaints and customer feedback.

3. Check Google Reviews of real estate Listing Agents

Here you have to be a little careful.  Some older reviews may have been submitted anonymously, and may therefore be either unrealistically bad or over-the-top great.  When you check Google Reviews, make sure they are legitimate, submitted by real people who took the time and care to identify themselves.

Using these methods, you should be able to narrow the field from the hundreds of Listing Agents down to one or two you might interview.  By the way, some articles advise to interview any number of agents.  Doing so will often lead to confusion and un-healthy ‘over-promising’ by agents.  Remember that you hire your Listing Agent by what he/she will DO, not by what they promise or predict.

Now let’s say that you have come up with a potential agent, here are the 10 questions you should ask him/her.

10 Questions Before Your Hire a Listing Agent

  1. How long have you been in the business?
  2. Where do you advertise my home?
  3. Who will photograph my home?
  4. Do you have a website?
  5. Are you active on Social Media
  6. How many homes do you sell in a year?
  7. If something goes wrong, who will I be dealing with?
  8. Is this your full-time occupation?
  9. How can I reach you?
  10. What is your commission rate?
1) How long have you been in the business?

Reason for asking: With the lure of ‘quick and easy money’ (believe me, its NOT), every one with a few spare dollars and some extra time has decided to get into real_estate”>real estate.  The joke is that in some States, liquor stores will accept, as forms of identification, your drivers license or your real estate license.  I sometimes compare a Listing Agent to a Restaurant:  Out of every 10 that start up, only 1 is still around after 2 years.

Answer to look for:  Minimum of 4 years experience.

2) Where do you advertise my home?

Reason for asking: Nearly every Real Estate Listing Agent uses the MLS®.  Its a powerful way of getting your house noticed by buyers and other agents.  But its not the ONLY way.  Recent studies show that between 80% to 87% of home buyers start their search on the internet and one study shows that only 1-in-3 use the MLS® as their primary tool.

So the answer you should be looking for includes not only the MLS®, but extensive internet presence.  

3) Who will photograph my home?

Reason for asking:  A lot of agents try and cut corners by whipping out the cell phone and taking a few shots.  Don’t think thats true?  Google the phrase “Bad photos on the MLS” and sit back with some popcorn…..you’ll be entertained.

The right answer is:  “I have a specialist who takes all my listing photos for me.”

4)  Do you have a website?

Reason for asking:  This goes hand-in-hand with the previous question.  With such a high percentage of people looking on the internet, your Real Estate Listing Agent should have an effective website.  I’m constantly amazed at how many agents don’t even have a simple site, let alone a professionally managed, search engine optimized site.

Answer to look for here is a definite YES, with some explanation of how effective the site is, Google ranking, Alexa ranking etc

5) Are you active on Social Media?

Reason for asking: thats where the buyers are.  Does your prospective agent interact with those potential buyers?

Answer to look for: ” Yes, here is my facebook page, my twitter account, my youtube channel, my pinterest account….. etc.

6) How many homes do you sell in a year?

Reason for asking:  goes to experience.  Find you how many homes the average real estate listing agent in your town or city sells and then compare.  Average is ok, but more experience is better.  On the opposite end of the scale, if your prospective listing agent always carries in excess of 15 or 20 listings, how much time will he or she have to work on your home?

In the answer, look for a nice balance.

7) If something goes wrong, who will I be dealing with?

Reason for asking:  Many a Real Estate Listing Agent runs a ‘team’, and the only time you’ll actually be dealing with him is during your initial interview.  And trust me…something WILL go wrong.  Perhaps as little as spelling mistakes or poor picture quality in your listing, or it could be more significant such as the wrong price shown in the listing.  Or perhaps you’ll just have some questions about feedback from the last showing.  In all likelyhood, you will want to talk to someone about your listing, so make sure that you know who you’re going to be dealing with.

The preferred answer here : “If any issues come up, you call ME directly anytime.  You’re NOT going to be talking with my secretary, my assistant or my butler….  here is my cell number, it goes directly to ME”.

8) Is this your full-time occupation?

Reason for asking: In many jurisdictions, it is NOT a requirement that a Real Estate Listing Agent practice his craft full-time.  There are many places (now including Winnipeg) where your Real Estate Listing Agent could work on your file during the day, and then serve your meals at the local restaurant at night.

Answer to look for: YES!  Don’t list with a real estate listing agent who might have to choose between showing your home and picking up an extra shift at the local Piggly-Wiggly for some fast cash.

9) How can I reach you?

Reason for asking:  Chances are you will need to talk with your real_estate”>real estate listing agent, to ask him questions or to get updates.

Make sure he or she has a cell phone, pager, e-mail and any number of ways for you to contact them.

10) What is your commission rate?

Like anything else in life, you get what you pay for.  Make sure that the cut-rate commission doesn’t also cut the most important parts of the service, such as advertising and ongoing support.

Question to Avoid asking your prospective Listing Agent: What Do YOU Think My Home Is Worth?

Reason to avoid this during the selection process:  The most desperate (and sometimes least competent) agent will often quote the highest price, just to get the listing.  The discussion of “What should we list our home for?” should be left between you and the listing agent AFTER you have made your selection.

Please don’t worry:  as the home owner, you’re the boss and its up to you to set the asking price.  But asking this question of several prospective agents will divert focus from what really matters: What an agent DOES for you, NOT what he/she predicts will happen!

See also 15 Reasons to hire a listing agent.

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Never miss an episode of our real estate podcast. Install our FREE Podcast App available on iOS and Android. For your Apple Devices, click here to install our iOS App. For your Android Devices, click here to install our Android App. Check my videos on Youtube

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Steps After Accepting An Offer selling your home

Steps After Accepting An Offer

In can be said that that two happiest days in a home owners life are The day he/she buys a new home The day he/she sell their place Hopefully the sale went smooth, and the final buyer conditions have been removed. Do not leave: Unwanted furniture which is not included in the purchase Bags of garbage in the home or on the property Unwanted tools in the shed if you have items that are useful, such as garden tools (if you’re moving to a condo, for example) you should ask the buyer, via his agent, if it’s ok to leave some of these items behind.

Did your house or condo listing expire? Let's fix that! selling your home

Did your house or condo listing expire? Let’s fix that!

Did your house or condo fail to sell, even after you listed it with a real estate agent on the MLS®? Don’t despair. Here is a list of reasons why there are more expired listings than in the past few years, and what you can do about it.

Even at the height of our busiest times in the past few years, approximately 25% of listings did not sell during the first listing period, becoming an expired listing in Winnipeg.  So you are not alone.  But now is the time to take a closer look at why the listing failed to sell.  Here are a couple of the major reasons this could be:

Has Your Home Been Staged?

Especially important if you’ve already moved out of your home.  Empty houses don’t sell well.  Buyers have a hard time imagining how the furniture will lay out.  Also, if you still live in your home and it’s overstocked with furniture and ‘things’, decluttering and staging is an important step.

Is Your Home Clean?

Having a professional cleaner take a run at your home is an important step.  Have it cleaned before the photographer shows up to take the pics.  And then make sure its clean whenever a buyer comes thru.  Don’t have it looking like this:

Did your house or condo listing expire? Let's fix that! selling your home

Selling In “As-Is” Condition

Another side effect of the hot market is that home-owners start to believe that every house will sell…….no matter what!  I recently toured a home where nearly half of the light-bulbs were burned out.  After going into yet another dark bedroom, flicking the light-switch in futility, I suggested to the owner that they replace the burned out bulbs.  The response was “We’re selling it “as is”…..if someone wants our home, they can replace their own bulbs”.

This is a bit of an extreme example, but you get the idea.

Be Out Of The Home When It Shows

This is where the private sellers completely ‘miss the message’.  The fact is, most buyers want to be able to examine a home in peace and leisure, with their agent, so that they can discuss various options and features of the home, without having the owner overhear what they are saying.   Don’t believe me?  Think of it this way:  the next time you go to test drive a car, do you want the salesman to drive you, or do you want to go for a drive with your spouse or significant other, so you can discuss the car, test it, etc etc, without a pushy salesman nattering in your ear?


Poor Quality Listing Description and Photos

The MLS® allows for over 1,000 characters in the description field of the property listing.  Make sure they are used to full benefit.  Is the listing enticing?  Does it make buyers WANT to come see the house?  Even more important are the quality of the pictures.  Did your agent use his cell phone to take the pics?  Are they properly lit and framed?

Inadequate Marketing Leads To Expired Listing

A major contributor to an Expired Listing.  One side-effect of a super-hot market is ‘complacency’.  Real_estate”>Real Estate Agents, who are traditionally known as some of the best marketers in business, start to believe that every house will sell, even without advertising and marketing.  The thinking went: “Just put it on the M.L.S. and it will sell”.  That may have been sufficient in most cases, but in a slower, more level market, it will not be enough.

So question is:  did your home receive adequate coverage, in printed newspapers, magazines and on the internet?

Interior of a well staged home
Listing Expired? Check the quality of your home’s online pictures.

Setting The Correct Price

Actually, this has always been the main factor when a house or condo listing expires.  And these days, it will be even more important to get the ‘asking price’ correct, right from the start.

These are some of the main reasons why a home might not sell right away, and become an failed listing.  As our Winnipeg market starts to level off a little, going from a super hot sellers market to a more balanced one, these reasons become even more important.

What to do next?

Take a close and critical look at which of the above reasons might apply to your situation and when re-listing the house, correct any or all of them before putting the home back onto the market.  When in doubt, call me for a 2nd opinion.  Please listen for a quick message and direction on how to contact me:


F.A.Q. about Expired Listings

What is the main reason why listings expire and fail to sell?

While there are many reasons, it really boils down to one thing: price. You can literally sell ANY property in any condition, so long as the price is right.

My listing has expired.  What are my next steps?

First, you should realize that you are not alone. Depending on local markets, 30-40% of listings fail to sell the first time around. Then, take a step back and analyze the reasons for this:
– Was the home staged?
– Was it clean during the showings
– Was it properly marketed and advertised?
– Did the photos look accurate and attractive?
– Was it priced correctly for the market?

Our Latest Web-Stories
Never miss an episode of our real estate podcast. Install our FREE Podcast App available on iOS and Android. For your Apple Devices, click here to install our iOS App. For your Android Devices, click here to install our Android App. Check my videos on Youtube

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