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I have read that "real estate" can be translated as:

  • bienes raíces
  • bienes inmuebles
  • inmuebles

What is the difference between these terms, and which is the most generic translation of "real estate"?

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Bienes raíces is the most used one in Chile. According to the dictionary, bienes inmuebles is the same as bienes raíces, but I couldn't say how widespread is each of them in other places.

Real estate broker is agente de bienes raíces. Note that broker is used as agent. Also agente inmobiliario (or agente de inmuebles, see last paragraph).

Another translation for real estate broker is corredor de bienes raíces or corredor de propiedades (and I guess that corredor de bienes inmuebles is also correct). When the context is clear, you might just say "corredor". That is, when there's no way of mistaking a *corredor (de propiedades) for a corredor (runner, athlete) or a corredor de bolsa (stockbroker).

A propiedad is just a property, both in the sense of a possession and of a quality. A house, for example, is a property, and a herb may have medicinal properties (una yerba puede tener propiedades medicinales). That's why corredor de propiedades is another name for a broker. However, I have not heard agente de propiedades, though it might be correct as well.

Inmueble is a house, or, more generally speaking, any inhabitable building. It is not the same as real estate, since inmueble is countable and real estate is uncountable.

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Roughly the same in Argentina. –  leonbloy Feb 3 '12 at 16:37
    
In Colombia the term Finca Raíz is more often used. –  Icarus Feb 3 '12 at 18:26
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In the Dominican Republic is widely used Bienes Raices/Real Estate. Agencia Inmobiliaria for Broker Agency or Real Estate Agency. I'm not familiar with the term Bienes Inmuebles; though in the DR it is rather used Bienes Inmobiliarios.

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All tree translations are correct for “real estate”, although the most common in Spain is just propiedad (propiedad inmobiliaria to disambiguate) or inmueble. On the other hand bienes raíces is rarely used in Spain.

For “real estate” used in adjective phrase would be inmobiliario.

Full translation for real estate agency would be agencia inmobiliaria, however most often word agencia is dropped, thus you just call it inmobiliaria.

General term for real estate registry is registro de la propiedad, however the one in Spain is called el Catastro (formally el Catastro Inmobiliario).

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