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How-To: Read Real Estate Listings

Real estate listing abbreviations are really helpful — if you know how to read them. Otherwise, you'll be confused, misled, and disappointed when you arrive at house on three acres (ac) that has no air conditioning (a/c)! There are a lot of terms to know when you're reading the classifieds, so try not to get overwhelmed if you're just starting out. The more you read listings, you'll come to know them like the back of your hand. And, if your mind just doesn't work like that, no worries, you can keep this handy list I've compiled in your back pocket. I've outlined the most common abbreviations for property listings for you. You may encounter some other abbreviations for contract, credential, and financing terms; you can learn the meanings for those here, or ask your Realtor. Feel free to add other property term abbreviations below, if you know any!

3/4 bath — half and shower OR tub
5/4/2 — 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2-car garage
ac — acres
a/c — air conditioning
ba — bathroom
br — bedroom
btsa — bonus to selling agent

There are dozens more where these came from, so


c h/a — central heating and air conditioning
ceil — ceiling
dbl — double
dr — dining room
fixer upper — lots of work to do!
flrs — floors
fp — fireplace
frbo — for rent by owner
fsbo — for sale by owner
full bath — bathroom with at least a toilet, sink, shower, and bathtub
glfp — gas log fireplace
1/2 bath — bathroom with toilet and sink
hdwd — hardwood floors
hoa — homeowner's association
hvac — heating, ventilation and air conditioning
hwh — hot water heater
kit — kitchen
la — living area
lr — living room
mbr — master bedroom
mls — multiple listing service
pl — swimming pool
rm — room
sf — square feet
tlc — tender loving care (i.e. see fixer upper)
w/d — washer/dryer
w/w cpt — wall-to-wall carpet
wbfp — wood-burning fireplace
wd flr — wood floor
wic — walk-in closet
yo — year old (i.e. 30 years old)

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