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Real Estate Abbreviations and Acronyms

Oct 30, 2019 by Jean Folger

You’ve probably stumbled across a real estate abbreviation or acronym and wondered what it meant.

These letters and initials are intended to simplify contracts, agreements, and day-to-day discussions, but many are confusing. That can make it hard to understand a contract or a conversation. And in real estate, that’s never a good thing.

Whether you’re a beginner or real estate pro, it’s important to understand the lingo. To get you started, here’s a list of commonly used real estate abbreviations and acronyms and what they mean. We’ve broken them down into five categories: general, financing and contracts, trade associations, designations, and listings. 

General real estate

These abbreviations and acronyms show up a lot, whether you’re a seasoned investor or buying your first home.

ARV: after-repair value

CAP: capitalization

CMA: comparative market analysis

COCR/CCR/CoC: cash-on-cash return

COF: cost of funds

COO/C of O: certificate of occupancy

CRE: commercial real estate

DSCR/DCR/DSR: debt service coverage ratio

FMR: fair market rent

FMV: fair market value

FSBO: for sale by owner

GRM: gross rent multiplier

HML: hard money lender

HOA: homeowners association

HUD: Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development

IRR: internal rate of return

JV: joint venture

L/O: lease option

LLC: limited liability company

LLP: limited liability partnership

MDU: multiple-dwelling unit

MFH: multi family home

MLS: Multiple Listing Service

NNN: triple-net lease

NOI: net operating income

NOO: non-owner occupied

O/F: owner finance

OO: owner-occupied

P&S: purchase and sale

PCF: price-to-cash-flow ratio

POA: property owners association

REI: real estate investing

REIT: real estate investment trust

REO: real estate owned

ROI: return on investment

RTO: rent to own

SFH: single-family home

Real estate financing and contracts

All real estate transactions include contracts and most involve financing. Knowing these abbreviations and acronyms can help you navigate the paperwork.  

AMORT: amortization

APR: annual percentage rate

ARM: adjustable-rate mortgage

CCR: conditions, covenants, and restrictions

CFD: contract for deed

CLTV: combined loan-to-value ratio

DOS: due on sale clause

DOT: deed of trust

DTI: debt-to-income ratio

EMC: earnest money contract

FHA: Federal Housing Administration

GNMA: Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)

LOC: line of credit

LOI: letter of intent

LTV: loan-to-value ratio

PITI: principal, interest, taxes, and insurance

PMI: private mortgage insurance

POF: proof of funds

Sub2: subject to existing financing

TIL: Truth In Lending Act

VA: Veterans Administration

Professional associations and organizations

Real estate associations and organizations help promote professionalism, improve transparency, and support continuing education. They also grant many of the industry’s accreditations and certifications. If you’re looking to boost your resume, these groups are a good place to start.

ACRP: Association of Commercial Real Estate Professionals

AGA: American Guild of Appraisers

AI: Appraisal Institute

ARELLO: Association of Real Estate License Law Officials

IARP: International Association of Real Estate Professionals

NAA: National Association of Appraisers

NAIOP: Commercial Real Estate Development Association

NAR: National Association of Realtors

NAREA: National Association of Real Estate Advisors

NARPM: National Association of Residential Property Managers

NREIA: National Real Estate Investors Association

Real estate designations

Adding a real estate designation to your resume can make you more versatile and valuable in the industry. And if you’re looking for an expert in the industry, these designations can make one easier to find.

ABR: Accredited Buyer Representative

ALC: Accredited Land Consultant

AMO: Accredited Management Organization

ARM: Accredited Residential Manager

ASR: Accredited Seller Representative

CBR: Certified Buyer Representative

CCIM: Certified Commercial Investment Member

CCREA: Certified Commercial Real Estate Advisor

CHMS: Certified Home Marketing Specialist

CIPS: Certified International Property Specialist

CLHMS: Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

CPM: Certified Property Manager

CRB: Certified Real Estate Broker

CRE: Counselor of Real Estate

CRS: Certified Residential Specialist

GAA: General Accredited Appraiser

GREEN: NAR Green Home Specialist

GRI: Graduate Realtor Institute

MAI: Member of the Appraisal Institute

MRP: Military Relocation Professional

RAA: Residential Accredited Appraiser

RSPS: Resort and Second-Home Property Specialist

SRES: Seniors Real Estate Specialist

SRS: Seller Representative Specialist

Real estate listings

You can count on any property listing to have an abbreviation or two. Knowing what they mean can help you find properties that match your criteria. 

1C (2C): one- (two-)car garage

3B/2B (or 3/2): three bedrooms, two bathrooms

A/G PL: above-ground pool

AC: acre

ACTV: active listing

ALM: aluminum siding

APT: apartment

ATT: attached garage

BA: bath

BALC: balcony

BB: baseboard heating

BCH: beach

BR: bedroom

BSMT: basement

CAC: central air conditioning

CLSD: closed listing (sold)

CONT: contemporary

CVAC: central vacuum

DPLX: duplex

DR: dining room

DSP: garbage disposal

DW: dishwasher

EIK: eat-in kitchen

ELV: elevator

FDR: formal dining room

FIX: fixtures

HB: half bath

HP: heat pump

HVAC: heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

INLW: in-law suite

JTUB: jetted tub

LV: living room

MAR: marble

MBA: master bedroom with bath

S/S: stainless steel

SEC SYS: security system

SF: square feet

TRPLX: triplex

W/D: washer/dryer

WAR: warranty plan

WIC: walk-in closet

WLKP: walkup

YD: yard

Like many industries, the real estate world is filled with its own buzzwords, abbreviations, and acronyms. It pays to know what these letters and initials mean, whether you’re just getting into real estate or are a seasoned pro.

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