Home Buying Tip: How to Read a Real Estate Listing

Posted by Jerad Cox on Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 at 9:12am.

A real estate listing is the first line of information for home buyers. Many real estate listings can be similar in nature, but there is a wide variety of viewing styles . Knowing all of the real estate acronyms and nicknames will help alleviate confusion as you look for the facts of a listing.

Viewing Types of Real Estate Listings

The onset of technology over the past 15 years has drastically changed how real estate listings are viewed by home buyers. 15 or 20 years ago a catalogue resembling a white pages book would be delivered to each real estate office with all of the Edmonton home listings. There was 8 listings per page and each listing had a 1.5 inch by 1 inch photo ( usually blurry) and barebones information. From there you could go onto the computer and get the 'full' information sheet.

Today there are over 50 different views that a home buyer can view any MLS listing in. There are 4 that I primarily use: 1) the email view to show the home buyer the basic info and pictures to see if they are interested, 2) the Agent's full view to send them if they are really interested in it, 3) the CMA view for reporting sales information, and 4) the sales summary for home evaluation purposes.

Top 8 Items Home Buyers Should Look For In a Home Listing Information Sheet

1 - List Price - For obvious reasons, the list price is important as it is usually the first question a home buyer asks.

2 - Beds Above - This is all bedrooms whose floors are above the ground outside. This gets particularly tricky with split level homes and homes with walkout basements.

3 - TB - Total Bedrooms - This is all bedrooms above and below grade.

4 - Baths - It is important to know that the setup of bath information is in #Full Baths#HalfBaths format, and usually looks like 2/1 or 2F1H on the sheet. A full bath is considered anything with a sink, toilet, and a tub or shower.

5 - Size - This is the total area of all parts of the home where the floor is above grade, or above the ground outside. As with Bedrooms, this can get tricky when comparing split level homes, as some 3rd levels are built above grade, while others are built below grade.

6 - Land Zoning - land zoning is determined by the city and dictates what can and cannot be built on the land. Knowing this is important if you are looking to knockdown the home and/or build a new property on the land.

7 - Parking - Very important to many buyers, this area will identify if there is a garage as well as the size/type, if there is a back lane or not, and if there is a driveway or street parking available. This is even more important for condos, as the condo corporation may or may not own the parking stall that would come with the unit.

8 - Days on Market, or DOM - Let's the buyer know how long the home has been on the market. Many people believe that this is a vital tool in home assessment and negotiation. I have written about Days on Market in more detail in a previous post.

Remember that if there is something on the real estate listing that you don't understand that you should ask your Realtor to explain it in order to get maximum benefit from the information provided!

2 Responses to "Home Buying Tip: How to Read a Real Estate Listing "

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Posted on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 at 3:23pm.

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Posted on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 at 11:39am.

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