The hunting house? Don’t let paperwork filled with confusing language get in the way of your dream home.

In the latest edition of our 4 Your Home real estate coverage, Compass realtor Ashleigh Wehmeyer helps break down the fine print with four key phrases every potential buyer needs to know.

Walk and talk before the offer

If you’re in a competitive situation, faced with multiple offers, and are considering foregoing a home inspection, a pre-offer walk and talk can help. This process is essentially a modified inspection in which you act as the note taker.

You can examine the roof, foundations, and appliances and check major systems in about an hour. It can cost between $250 and $350 and can give you some reassurance.

PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance

The PMI is what you will pay on a conventional loan if you don’t put 20% down.

Even when you are going to pay PMI in your monthly payment, be careful when you get up to 20% of the value of this loan. Then you can call your lender and ask them to file it for you.

EMD: Deposit

An EMD is the money you put in when you make your offer. Bigger is better here. In traditional markets, it is around 1 to 1.5% of the selling price, but in competitive markets, it can be up to 5%, 6% or even 10%.

Escalation clause

An escalation clause works much like an eBay auction. Set the maximum limit of your bid and you will beat any other buyer by that amount. Wehmeyer’s tip: make the number end in a zero.

If there’s something you don’t understand, stop and ask. Buying a home will probably be the biggest investment of your life.