Terms in Real Estate Philippines That You Need To Know


Dealing with Real Estate Brokers, Agents, Sellers and other Real Estate Professionals, we often hear and see random terms and acronyms upon negotiation. Starting with Real Estate Investing, we need to know more of the terms in Real Estate, so we would know more about the property.


Here are some acronyms and terms most often used in the Philippines. We tried to compile all of them and hoping this article would help you save you from deciphering them.


Real Estate Listing Terms

The acronyms and terms used when listing a specific project. They mostly describe the property.


LA – Lot Area

This size of the land where the property is being built.


FA – Floor Area

The size of the property that is being built. Most of the time, the value of this is larger than LA because the property has more than two (2) floors.


BR – Bedroom

A room for sleeping in.


T&B – Toilet and Bath

Also referred as the Comfort Room.


CG – Car Garage

The space for cars in a specific land area.


MBR – Masters Bed Room

The main bedroom within the property.


PS – Parking Slot

The space for cars in a specific part of the building.


RM – Room

To describe an undefined room to let the buyer’s decision make it to what specific type of room.


SQM – SQuare Meters

The most commonly used in measuring areas of rooms, houses, blocks of lands, etc.


APT – Apartment

A type of house in the Philippines, also referred as Townhouse.


HL – House and Lot

A type of house in the Philippines, where the property in a specific land area is being sold. The value is a little bit higher because there is a specific value for the land depending on the LA and the type of house that is being built.


TH – Town House

A type of house in the Philippines, where the houses are constructed as a two-or-three storey unit with a common wall or walls bordering the adjacent unit.


BTS – Build to Sell

A type of selling where the lot is already available but there is no house built yet. It will only be built once there is a buyer purchase for it.


DBO – Direct Buyers Only

Calling out for buyers not Real Estate professionals to sell them property. No middle man in between.


FSBO – For Sale By Owner

The property is for sale by the owner


RFO – Ready for Occupancy

The property is finished and ready to be occupied.


RTO – Rent-To-Own

The property can be paid like renting the house.


Real Estate Legal Terms

The terms and acronyms used when negotiating, these includes the requirements of the property.


RA – Reservation Agreement

The form signed up by the buyer to show purchase of the unit.


BIS – Buyer’s Information Sheet

The form filled up by the buyer with their personal information.


CTS – Contract To Sell

The form given by the developer as an agreement with the seller and buyer when the property is pre-selling.


LOI – Letter of Intent

The letter signed by the buyer to show intention to buy a property when the License to Sell is not yet available.


LTS – License to Sell

The permit that signifies that the property is ready for selling is given by the government to a developer.


SPA – Special Power of Attorney

This is a type of document giving a special privilege to the representative to sign the document in the buyer’s behalf.


CTC – Community Tax Certificate

Also known as “Sedula”, is a legal identity document provided by the City Hall or Baranggay Hall as a proof of residency.


OCT – Original Certificate of Title

It is a legal document that authenticates the ownership of the land as well as the air space in it. This is the title issued for the first time in pursuant of such decree to the name of its owner in registration. It is the true copy of the decree of registration. It is signed by the Administrator, entered and filed in the (LRA) Land Registration Authority.


TCT – Transfer Certificate of Title

Same as the OCT, it authenticates the ownership of the land as well as the air space in it. The document contains the geophysical location, measurement, registration number and name of the owner. It is the subsequent registration once the property is sold, inherit or donated. It is when the land title is cancelled and replaced by another title by reason of sale or transfer.


CCT – Condominium Certificate of Title

It is a legal document that certifies the ownership of a condominium unit. It contains the unit’s geophysical location together with its measurements, floor number, unit number, the name and developer of the condominium, and the name of the owner of the unit. CCT only owns the air space of a property, for example the unit located on the 9th floor of that specific condominium.


CRB – Certified Real Estate Broker

They are referred as the licensed Real Estate Brokers. According to RA 9646 that is effective 2016, graduates of BSREM or BS Real Estate Management will be allowed to undergo the licensure examination for Real Estate Broker.


REB – Real Estate Broker

They are the prime movers in the Real Estate service profession. They act as an agent to offer, advertise, solicit, list, promote, negotiate or effect the sale, purchase, exchange, mortgage, or transact on real estate or any interest therein.


DST – Documentary Stamps Tax

It is a tax on documents, instruments, loan agreements and papers evidencing the acceptance, assignment, sale or transfer of an obligation, right or property incident thereto.


MOA – Memorandum Of Agreement

Also known as a memorandum of understanding, is a formal business document used to outline an agreement made between two separate entities, groups or individuals.


RESA – Real Estate Service Act

In the Republic Act Constitution, it is the RA 9646 which protects the right of those who call themselves real estate professionals. It lays down the rules for them to adhere, so they may registered under the PRC (Professional Regulation Commission) and be allowed to continue their practice.


Real Estate Financial Terms

The terms and acronyms used when financing the property is being discussed.


TCP – Total Contract Price

Total Contract Price is the total price of the property that is being sold. It may have inclusive or exclusive of items depending on the project.


MA – Monthly Amortization

The total amount due computed based on terms as monthly obligations.


ITR – Income Tax Return

It is a proof of income that is provided by the buyer.


CI – Character/Credit Investigation

It is a process that Bank and/or Loan Mortgages conduct to check the financial credibility of the buyer.


CGT – Capital Gains Tax

Every time a seller sells a house or a land property, must pay this tax. It is a tax that is imposed on earnings the seller has gained from the sale of capital assets. It is charged at a flat tax rate of 6% of the gross selling price and must be paid within 30 days after each transaction.


TT – Transfer Tax

This tax is imposed on tax on the sale, donation, barter, or any other mode of transferring ownership or title of real property at the maximum rate of 50% of 1% (75% of 1% in the case of cities and municipalities within Metro Manila) of the total consideration involved in the acquisition of the property or of the fair market value in case the monetary consideration involved in the transfer is not substantial, whichever is higher. It is a responsibility of the seller, donor, transferor, executor or and administrator.


VAT – Value Added Tax

There are estate transactions that can be exempted or not in VAT depending on the property.


ZV – Zonal Value

These are for taxation purposes only with BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue). They are important to compute real estate taxes, that you, either you’re a buyer or seller, will pay, when you buy or sell a property. They are not used to determine the market value of the property.



We hope this article help you save from deciphering some acronyms. If you have other suggested or additional acronyms that are not here, comment it below so we can include it in the list.


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