We learned our ABCs at the beginning of school. They have served us well all these years.

Now it is time to learn the ABCs of buying and selling one of the most important financial things in life, your home.

Selling and buying homes are among the most exciting experiences a person can have. So many options are in front of you as you look at new homes and, if you are selling, prepare to move on to a new part of your life. A great Realtor will be able to help with either transaction.

Here are the basics — as easy as ABC!

  • Appraisal is the estimated value of the property and is ordered by the lender.
  • Backup offer is a secondary offer on a home that is under contract, in case that contract falls out. We are seeing a lot of backup offers in this hot spring market.
  • Cash is king — except when you have a wonderful lender as a partner.
  • Days on market and other important statistics can help you sell or buy your home. This number can change dramatically within a small geographical area.
  • Equity is the amount of money you would make from your home if you were to sell it today and pay off your mortgage.
  • Financing needs to be put in order to help with a preapproval and know your budget.
  • Game plan covers what part of town, homeowners association or no HOA, basement or slab — in short, figuring out what works best for you.
  • Homeowners association works to keep the neighborhood in good shape.
  • Inspection is done after going under contract and can be thought of as your future maintenance checklist.
  • Joint tenancy is an equal, undivided ownership of property by two or more people. Upon death of any owner, the survivor receives the decedent’s interest in the property.
  • Knowledgeable Realtor who understands the market can best navigate the process to get you the best deal.
  • Loan to value is the risk assessment that lenders use if you are financing your purchase.
  • Multiple Listing Service is how we promote your home listing to other agents in the metro area and is syndicated nationally.
  • Net proceeds are the amount the seller receives at closing after all costs have been paid.
  • Open houses are done to showcase your home to potential buyers.
  • Prequalification should be done with a great lender.
  • Questions — ask away! That is what we are here for. As you learned in school, there are no silly questions.
  • Renovations — are you ready for them? A reno budget should be factored into your overall home-buying budget.
  • Seller’s disclosure is a document that details the history of the home.
  • Title is the right to ownership and is protected by the law.
  • Under contract is when an offer has been accepted, but the closing is not final.
  • Value — how do you determine the fair market value?
  • Walk-through is done just before closing.
  • Xpert advice is based on many closed transactions.
  • Your needs, including timing and expectations, are what this is all about.
  • Z — don’t depend on your Zestimate; get real local, pertinent information.

There is a lot more to selling or buying your home than just these phrases. We are here to help in any way if you are getting ready to buy or sell.

This is a hot market, with inventory in the metro Atlanta area down by 13 percent and pending sales and sold homes are up by 2 percent. Homes that are priced correctly are selling quickly!

Stacy Frohman Lampert of Keller Williams can be reached at slampert@kw.com or 678-457-6043 to help get you into the home you have always wanted to be in.