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PALM LATITUDES

L.a. Speak

April 04, 1993|Jill Stewart and DR, Randy South

Whatever the market will bear--a selection of real-estate brokerese:

bottom feeder n . a home buyer who waits until the market drops, hoping to profit from the misfortune of sellers.

broker's open n . a day each week when brokers head out in caravans to check new inventory. "If we don't get any interest after the broker's open, we're taking it off the market and riding out the slump."

comp wars n . negotiating ploys in which both sides cite wildly different "comparable" sales prices. "We're in comp wars with the seller. They say a neighbor's house went for $290,000 in May, but we know that in December one went for $240,000."

flipper n . anyone who buys a home strictly for profit and sells it as soon as possible, sometimes without even closing escrow.

garbage fees n . padded charges like messenger and documentation fees charged by some title, escrow, lending and appraisal companies. "We found out too late that our escrow officer is the queen of garbage fees. "

sleeper n . a nice, well-priced house that gets few lookers and no offers. "The broker is mailing out flyers and inviting all the brokers over because my house turned out to be a sleeper ."

upside-down adj. when prices drop so much that a loan against a house exceeds its value. "The Smiths applied for an equity loan before the slump but their loan officer just told them that they're badly upside - down. "

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