Real Estate Transaction

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Real Estate Transaction

Real Estate Transaction

Full Definition of Real Estate Transaction

A real estate transaction is the purchase/sale of real estate, the equivalent of a trade in the world of investments.

A typical real estate transaction varies somewhat with the various state laws and regional customs, but certain steps are usually involved–

  • The seller selects a real estate agent or realtor to represent him. He signs a listing contract with the realtor that specifies details including commissions to be paid, the term of the listing, and any other details.
  • The real estate agent prepares information about the property usually entered into the listings on or other similar databases of properties for sale. The realtor also advertises the property and conducts various activities to market it including an open house.
  • A buyer typically will meet with a realtor to represent his interests, but sometimes will contact the selling realtor directly from the listing.
  • The buyer will usually prearrange financing. A preapproved loan makes the process go faster and lets the buyer know the limit of his financing.
  • The buyer makes an offer on the property of interest by submitting a signed sales contract with earnest money through the realtors. Buyer and seller negotiate a price through their realtors.
  • Once the sales contract has been accepted by the seller, the buyer has 10 days to inspect the property or hire experts at his expense to investigate various aspects. Results of the inspection can result in requests to have defects corrected or negotiations for an allowance from the seller.
  • The mortgage lender has the property appraised to see that it is worth the money being loaned on it. As part of this, the property is often surveyed to insure its description in the title is accurate.
  • The buyer arranges homeowners insurance for the property, usually required by the mortgage lender, and often paid via escrow payments to the mortgage company. The insurance company may require inspection of the property for compliance with electrical and fire codes. Distance to the closest fire hydrant and qualifications of the local fire department are often factors in determining if the property can be insured and at what rates. The mortgage lender may or may not require flood insurance or earthquake insurance.
  • The title company brings the title up to date and checks to see that the title is clear of any outstanding liens. Title insurance is often required by the mortgage lender.
  • Requirements vary widely, but usually, a building inspector or fire inspector will inspect the building for compliance with codes. This often requires updating electrical, adding smoke detectors, etc.
  • Once all is ready, the buyer and seller meet at a close where the buyer presents payment and the seller turns over the keys and title.
  • The title and mortgage lien is recorded in the county courthouse at the recorder of deeds.

Related Phrases

Building code
Certificate of Occupancy
Due diligence
Electrical code

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Real Estate Transaction. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd.
January 19, 2022
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Real Estate Transaction. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: January 19, 2022).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Real Estate Transaction. Retrieved January 19, 2022
, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Real Estate Transaction are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 29th November, 2021 | 1 Views.