Not many people possess the language skills of my older brother. I learned early on never to play Scrabble or Balderdash with him, but whenever I didn’t understand the meaning of a word, I could always ask him. And I did. Until I got my first smartphone, and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, at which point he recused himself as my personal dictionary. Not everyone has a personal vocabulary consultant, and as we’ve seen in the library, newer real estate agents could use some help when it comes to a certain type of language known as “legalese.”

Dustin Askins 2007

Dustin Askins/flickr/2007

The library cannot give legal advice, but we can provide resources to help you decipher the language used in contracts and real estate jargon. NAR Library & Archives provides a large collection of eBooks accessible to REALTORS® through Overdrive and through the Overdrive App. The eBook collection is accessed by logging in with your NRDS ID. If you have never used our eBooks collection before, either download the Overdrive app to your smartphone or other mobile device, or download Adobe Digital Editions to your computer.

The Complete Book of Real Estate Contracts (Mark Warda)

The Encyclopedia of Real Estate Forms & Agreements: A Complete Kit of Ready-To-Use Checklists, Worksheets, Forms, and Contracts (Atlantic Publishing Co.)

Business Contracts Kit For Dummies (Part of the “Dummies” Series) (Richard D. Harroch)

Everybody’s Guide to the Law: All The Legal Information You Need in One Comprehensive Volume (Allen Wilkinson and Melvin M. Belli)

The Essential Law Dictionary (Amy Hackney Blackwell)

Legal advice can be obtained through your state association’s legal hotline (available in most states). Contact us if you need their contact information.

Keep in touch and informed: Follow Information Services on Twitter (@asknar) and Facebook (NAR Information Services). Contact us next time you have a research project or question toll-free at 800.874.6500,, Skype narinfoservices, or text AskNAR to 66746.

Abby Creitz

Manager, NAR Library & REALTOR® University Librarian

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