We have clearly summarized the most important terms from the real estate industry for you.


Terms you should know


Accessibility in this context describes the built environment, which should be designed so that they are accessible to older people, people with disabilities or mobility impairments without assistance. This can be made possible, for example, by elevators, stair railings or a floor guidance system.


This term circumscribes all measures that benefit the acquisition of new/customers or sales and purchase orders.

Agricultural land

The agricultural area is the total of all arable land, meadows and pastures of a farm or a country (Wikipedia).

Apartment rental

See rental.

Best Practice

This refers to proven, best, and exemplary methods, practices, or approaches used by companies or individuals to achieve goals.


A broker is responsible for brokering contracts or opportunities between two parties. According to the German Commercial Code (HGB), this person is an independent merchant. The fee of a broker is called commission.


See commission.

Brokerage industry

Profession of the broker and his activity in a defined area.

Brokerage Teams

Multiple brokers working together in one office and defining themselves as one entity.


According to construction law, the client is legally and economically responsible as the principal in the execution of construction projects.


Houses, roads and bridges are the most common examples of structures. These are firmly connected to the ground and, as immovable works, are subject to special legal regulations.

Building and planning law

This right states where and what may be built at which location on a building plot or property. This is defined in the German Building Code (BauGB) and in the German Building Regulations (BauNVO).

Building description

A building description is a detailed description of a building with additional listing of all used materials, makes and prices. Also all conditions of the environment are listed. This description is part of a purchase contract.

Building fabric

Totality of the most important components of a building, such as basement, masonry and roof, in terms of condition, age and state of preservation. A new building has a different structure than an old farmhouse.

Building insurance

This is insurance for buildings against types of damage such as fire, storm and other damage. The amount insured is based on the value of the property.

Building land

Building land or building area is a spatially defined part of the earth’s surface for which the legal and natural conditions necessary for building are given.

Building type

Type of building characterized by architectural style or use. E.g.: single house, multi-family house, high-rise and bungalow.


A cadastre is a list or register in which information such as facts or spatial allocation is recorded. Also called real estate cadastre. It contains all the properties in a geographically defined area.

Cadastral extract

See the extract from the land register.

Cadastral office

Also referred to as a surveyor’s office. The authority is responsible for surveying land and properties.

Capital investment

With an investment, investors aim to receive long-term returns, generate passive income, and grow the money they invest over time.

Certificate of freedom from rental debt

This certificate is to confirm to a landlord that the new tenant has no rental debts from previous tenancies. This is confirmed by the previous landlord.


Collective term for different consulting methods. Here, the focus is on the development of own solutions.

Code of Ethics

A code is a set of rules that summarizes the totality of rules in force in a society or network, norms concerning honor and behavior towards fellow human beings.

Commercial property

A commercial property is a building that is used wholly or predominantly for commercial purposes. This includes, for example, various properties such as stores and offices or medical practices, hotels, gas stations and discotheques, but also shopping centers, refrigerated warehouses, train stations and various forms of production halls. These are distinguished from residential real estate in terms of financing and tax law.

Commercial real estate agents

A broker specializing in the sale/purchase of commercial real estate.

Commercial tenancy law

This is a separate part of tenancy law. It relates to objects, rooms and land that are not residential premises and are for the most part suitable only for commercial purposes.


A commission is paid to the real estate agent as a fee for his brokerage activities when a property is sold. It is also referred to as a brokerage fee and is paid to the real estate agent by the seller and buyer.

Community property

The garden, bicycle cellar and laundry room in an apartment building are intended for common use under German condominium law.

Comparative value method

This procedure is based on comparing a property with similar properties that have already been sold. The data can be obtained from the relevant appraisal committee, so that average prices per square meter can be determined. If modernization measures have been carried out, the value increases.


This is a form of ownership of an individual apartment. It is established by registration in the apartment land register. Here, each apartment receives its own land register sheet when it is created and can therefore be sold like any other property.

Condominium Act

This law contains all the provisions relating to the creation, definition, division and management of a property.

Credit check

In the case of private individuals, creditworthiness provides information about a person’s payment behavior. A credit check examines whether the person is in debt or can reliably repay debts taken on.

Cubature calculation

The term cubature refers to the volume of a structure, regardless of its design or materiality.

Declaration of division

In a case of a declaration of partition, a plot of land or house is divided into several rental property shares and registered in the land registry.

Development plan

This plan is a graphic representation, which is used to assemble different objects. Colloquial: Building instruction


Transfer of property, such as real estate, into the ownership of another. The opposite of this is acquisition.

Door Knocking

A type of new/customer acquisition. This corresponds to the home visit of a representative.

Energy certificate

This document contains all data such as energy costs and energy efficiency of a building. This enables prospective tenants or buyers to compare different buildings and the associated costs. There is both an energy demand certificate and an energy consumption certificate.

Expert area (farm)

In the brokerage industry, the area, in terms of city or region, is called a farm or expert area. The local broker knows this area very well and “farms” or harvests new objects for sale and purchase in this area.

Expert opinion

An appraisal is a reasoned judgment by an expert about a property.


This is a statement written by experts about a specific issue, from a specific field.


An exposé is a presentation of a property ready for sale. The aim is to present the property appropriately. In addition to an advertising descriptive text, it contains the site plan, photos and basic data, such as the area, the price and the year of construction.


See expert area.

Favorite position

Best possible positioning of offers.

Financing loan

See loans.

Floor plan

A two-dimensional drawing representation of premises. From this, the dimensions of the individual rooms of a property can be read.


Subsequent contacting of customers and buyers. Often used in the acquisition process or after a sale.

Forest plot

A forest plot is a spatially delimited part of the earth’s surface, which is located in a forest.

Franchise network

Refers to an association between a franchisor and several franchisees. The franchisees are legally independent entrepreneurs and work for the common brand.

Franchise partner

See Franchisee.

Franchise system

Franchising is a partnership-based and optimized business concept where new/entrepreneurs are allowed to use a standardized concept for a fee.


A self-employed person who acquires a license and sells the products/services of the company or brand (license seller) under this license (franchise).

Franchisee training

A training course available to all franchisees. Here, the standards of the system are taught. This leads to a constantly equal level of quality.


See Franchise.


An entrepreneur who has his/her products/services sold under license (franchise) by independent licensed dealers.

Garden plot

A garden plot is a spatially defined portion of the earth’s surface located in a rural area. See plot of land.

Home Staging

Home staging is a type of real estate marketing. Here, the interiors are optimized and perfectly staged. Often, cardboard furniture dummies or rented interiors are used for this purpose. This shows potential buyers their options for furnishing and significantly accelerates the sales phase.

Incidental purchase costs

These are all costs that are added to the pure purchase price of the property. These include: Taxes, the fee for the notary, fees for the transcription of the land register and the land transfer tax.

Income tax act

This law regulates the taxation of the income of individuals.

Individual representation

See Sole Procurement.

Industrial park

Also called business park. This is designated in urban planning law as a specially designated area in which mainly commercial enterprises are permitted.


This refers to assets that are not affected by inflation or depreciation.

Installment plan

In the case of an installment plan, the tenant acquires the property within a period of time. Rent already paid is credited against the purchase price.

Investment property

An investment property is a property that serves as a financial investment. The commercial or residential property is not used by the owner himself.

Joint business

When a prospective buyer is looking for a property in another location, it is expedient for their broker to engage a local colleague to do so. This cooperation between different brokers is generally referred to as joint business. This results in a quick and high quality sale/purchase.

Land register

A public register kept by the relevant office in which all the land plots in a district are listed with details of the respective legal relationships. It also records the location and size of the land according to the cadastre, as well as e.g. mortgage or land charge.

Land register excerpt

An extract means a complete copy of a defined part of the said land register.

Land value

The land value indicates the value of a plot of land in its undeveloped state. This value is included in the real estate appraisal.


A lead is a qualified contact with a real interest that is suitable for the purchase of a product or service.

Lead magnet

This refers to the management of prospects and contacts that are considered as potential customers to buy or sell a property.


Objects for sale and purchase are included by a broker in his “listing”. Here he presents all objects which are currently available for purchase through him.

Living space calculation

The living space is the sum of the chargeable floor areas of the living spaces that belong exclusively to a property. Certain areas, such as balconies, can only be counted at 50%. The entire calculation serves as the basis for pricing.


A loan or credit is applied for to finance major purchases. This is a contract under the law of obligations that involves the lending of an agreed sum of money. Repayment usually takes place over several years.

Location quality

Real estate can be classified into different categories: prime location, good location, average location and simple location. Local conditions, such as traffic situation, immediate surroundings or surrounding social facilities, play a major role.

Lone wolfism

Describes someone who wants to move forward alone and without support.

Management costs

These are all costs incurred for the ongoing use of a property. For example: electricity, water and heating costs.

Market value

Indicates the current value of a property.

Market value assessment

This appraisal determines the current value of a property in relation to the real estate market.

Metropolitan area

The word describes the concentration of industry and population in a confined space. For example, large cities with attached industry or mixed areas.


Modernization involves improving the value of a structure by replacing the previous equipment with newer and more contemporary equipment.


A mortgage is a lien on real property. This right secures the loan on the construction or purchase of a property. This secures the property for the lender.


This refers to the association of many people who have common interests and “network” with each other to exchange information, services and products.

New Broker/Owner

Designation of a new (new) and existing office owner or license buyer or investor opening a RE/MAX brokerage office.

New customer acquisition

See acquisition.


A notary public is an impartial person who is responsible for the certification and authentication of legal transactions, facts, evidence and signatures. In various matters, he has an informative and instructive function.

Notary’s office

See notary.

Online Onboarding

Digital introduction of a new employee to his or her area of work or assignment.

Online real estate valuation tool

An application on a website that can be used to calculate a price for a property based on information such as year built, square meters and location.

Owners’ meeting

Meeting of condominium owners convened on specific dates.

Parcel map

See real estate map.


A plot of land is a part of the earth’s surface that is spatially delimited. There are different types of land, including building plots and garden plots. The owner(s) of a plot of land is/are recorded in the land register.

Premium position

See Favorite Position.


This is the ratio between the capital employed and the performance indicator in a defined period. This figure is usually given as a percentage and can indicate how successful a company is.


A property usually refers to a plot of land with a structure that is used for residential or commercial purposes.

Property cadastre

See cadastre.

Property management

Manages apartment buildings (mostly multi-unit), apartment complexes, condominiums and commercial properties. Is responsible for maintenance and planning renovations and other things.

Property slope

This describes the slope of a plot of land. For example, there are medium or slight slope.

Property valuation

The property valuation reflects the market value of a developed or undeveloped property.

Purchase contract

This type of contract has the goal of a change of ownership of a thing or a right. As a rule, this change takes place in compensation with money. In the case of a sale of real estate, it also requires notarization.

Purchase interest/buyer lead

See Lead.

Real estate affinity

She describes strong interest, great familiarity and expertise in the real estate market.

Real estate agent

A real estate agent is responsible for the mediation of real estate and rental properties between buyer and seller or tenant and landlord. The broker is registered as an independent merchant according to the German Commercial Code (HGB). For the mediation he or she receives a commission.

Real estate audit

See real estate valuation.

Real estate expert

See real estate agent.

Real estate map

This map, also called cadastral map, records all land parcels (parcels) in a fixed scale. On the basis of this map, the location and boundaries of individual plots of land and their owners can be assigned. This information is included in the land register entry.

Real estate marketing

The advertising measures for the presentation and marketing of a property through various actions are referred to as marketing. This includes, for example, the creation of an exposé and the publication of advertisements on various media to increase the reach of interested parties.

Real estate owner

Real estate owners are owners of a building who are recorded as owners in the land register.

Real estate services company

Companies that offer every conceivable service related to the industry. From purchase and financing to winter maintenance.

Real estate shops

See brokerage office.

Real estate transfer tax

Real estate transfer tax is payable on the purchase of real estate. It is assessed, among other things, on the value of the property and the incidental costs of purchase.

Real estate valuation

This valuation is to determine a market value for a property. This results in the selling price and the property can be compared with other properties on the market.

Real value method

In the asset value method, the building fabric is appraised separately from the land value.


This is the recruitment of new employees or franchisees. Each office should continuously recruit new members and grow the team.


The purpose of refurbishment is to improve the value of a building. Here, old equipment is replaced by higher quality.


See Tipster.


Refers to the maintenance of structures, which is intended to preserve the original value of an object.

Rent index

The rent index is a comparison of the local rent levels. It is used to determine the estimated amount of rent for a property or to justify a rent increase.

Rent receivables

These are receivables arising from a tenancy. If a tenant is in arrears with his rent payment, the landlord requests that the contributions be paid on time.

Rental agreement

Contract between landlord and tenant on the conditions of renting e.g. an apartment. This contract specifies all mutual obligations, as well as the detailed characteristics of the apartment.


This refers to the reputation of a person, group or company in the public eye.

Residential property

This type of property is used wholly or primarily for residential purposes.

Right of residence

This is the right or an authority to occupy buildings or parts thereof as a dwelling free of charge (rent-free) to the exclusion of the owner. This can be recorded in the land register and is valid for life.

Right of usufruct

This is a non-inheritable and inalienable right that regulates the use of an object/right. E.g. lifelong residential right.

Schufa information

See credit rating.


Search engine optimization for better visibility and placement of a website on the Internet.

Sole order

In German brokerage law, a sole agency agreement, also known as a brokerage agreement or brokerage service agreement, is a contract that provides for an exclusive contractual relationship between a broker and a client.



Surveying Office

See cadastral office.

Target group

A group of people who have comparable characteristics in terms of interests and values.

Tenancy Law Act

This law regulates all regulations for tenants and landlords.

Time budget

Here, the time available is meant.


A tipster is a person who refers a customer to a real estate agent who is willing to sell or buy. If a sale is made, the tipster receives a premium for his or her activity.


Software program that performs additional tasks. Such as a calendar with a reminder function or a website with a calculator for utility costs.

Transfer of ownership

This is a transfer of ownership to another person.

Turnover rent

This type of rent refers to commercial leasing. Here, the amount of rent depends on the business success of the tenant.


If a property is not occupied, it is called vacant. A wide variety of reasons can be given for this. The most common reason for a vacancy is a change of tenant or buyer or renovation measures.


See real estate valuation.
See market value.

Viewing dates

Individual viewing or a mass viewing, also called open house, of a purchase or rental property are scheduled. Here, all interested parties have the opportunity to view the object extensively, to determine special features and to make their own decision.

Water property

A waterfront property is a spatially defined portion of the earth’s surface that includes a flowing or standing body of water.

Win-win situation

In such a situation, the focus is on the common benefit for all parties involved. Through mutual consideration and cooperation, all parties involved should benefit.

Zoning or land use plan

This plan covers an entire municipal area and is prepared on the basis of the cadastral plan. This assigns a specific use to each plot of land, how the land can be used. E.g.: building land, traffic area or other specifications.

360 degree tours

This is a virtual tour of properties in which the viewer can use a digital output device to look at all areas of the property without actually being there.