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10 Real Estate Acronyms You Might Not Know

It never ceases to make me cringe when I see MLS listings with misspellings, strange words, and not to mention horrible photos. (The most commonly misspelled phrase I see is “Remolded”… you know, as in “Remodeled”). Anyhow, I just discovered Zillow’s Blog, and I actually really like it. It’s easy to read, simple, with a good mix between market stats and trends, decor and tips. Just what I like.

This “10 Real Estate Acronyms You Might Not Know” post caught my eye and I thought I’d know all of them, but after completing their “quiz” I knew only about two of them, and then cringed at the rest! Some of these acronyms are just about as bad, if not worse than obvious misspellings… Since Zillow is a nationwide company, maybe these sayings are used more so in other areas besides Southern California? Here’s their list, and after the jump I’ve compiled my own.

10 Real Estate Acronyms You Might Not Know, by Erika Riggs“.

“As you look for a home for sale, or through apartment listings, you’ve undoubtedly come across a few real estate acronyms in the property descriptions.  While you are most likely familiar with MIL or DR, other terms may not be as familiar. We’ve rounded up a few real estate acronyms — some easy, some hard — with a challenge to you to see how well-versed you are in real estate-ese. Try your hand at decoding these terms; the answers are below the photo. Remember, no cheating!



2. detached GH

3. FR. DRS


5. FP

6. HDW

7. Bb

8. CH/BW

9. d/w

10. EIK

Source: Flickr user fellixis











1. Built-in china cabinets

2. Detached guest house

3. French doors

4. Family room over garage

5. Fireplace

6. Hardwood floors

7. Baseboard heat

8. Chain link or barbed wire fence

9. Dishwasher

10. Eat-in kitchen

How well did you do?

0-3 correct: First-time home buyer

4-7 correct: Real estate dabbler

8-11 correct: Certified real estate expert”


Crazy right? “D/W” & “Detached GH” make sense to me, but most of the others don’t…  #8) CH/BW: Chain link/Barbed wire fence? First of all I’d probably never make note or mention of that on a listing. Second, most of the others you usually don’t want to abbreviate.


Think about it, would you rather read:

“Top of the line chef’s style eat-in kitchen with an island, walk-in pantry plus a separate formal dining room.”


“Top of the line chef’s style EIK with walk-in pantry plus a separate formal dining room.”


Say What?

Yea… you just don’t abbreviate Kitchen.. Kitchens sell homes. EIK sounds like a car make or model. Not to mention “BICC?” Built-in China Cabinets? Also something you don’t want to goof and eliminate 95% of buyers who don’t know the acronym for BICC… Built in China Cabinets are an awesome feature not many homes now days have, and not something you’d want to pass up mentioning in a listing.


My Version of 10 Real Acronyms we use here in San Diego Real Estate:

1. MLS: Multiple Listing Service

2. BCC: Buyer’s Closing Costs

3. VR: Value Range (as in Value Range Pricing)

3. REO: Real Estate Owned (Bank Owned)

4. SS: Can either mean Stainless Steel or Short Sale.

5. BR: Bedroom (So simple I know, but these are the types of words to use as acronyms… think simple).

6. MBR: Master Bedroom

7. HOA: Home Owner’s Association

8. BOM: Back on Market

9. SqFt: Square Feet

10. DOM: Days on Market


Did I miss anything? Moral of the story; wiser from a selling point to not abbreviate key features a property has to offer. Buyers don’t do this for a living. Most likely they’ll pass right over “EIK” and not even realize that has anything to do with kitchen size.


Can you think of anything else to add to the list?


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