About Us

Glossary

Some words and terms familiar to the Real Estate Industry:

A
Assets:  What you own
Auction: Sale of a property in public to the highest bidder

B
Breach of contract: Breaking the terms of the contract

C
Certificate of title: Legal proof of ownership of a property carrying the owners name and other information
Chattels: Chattels are personal property. There are two types. Real chattels are buildings and fixtures. Personal chattels are clothes, furniture etc
Commission: Fee payable to the real estate agent for selling a property by the person authorising the sale.  It is usually a percentage of the sale price
Common property: Areas in strata title properties shared by all owners
Company title: This title applies when owners of flats in a block form a company. Each has shares in the company which owns the land and buildings. The owner of the shares in entitled to exclusive occupation of a flat. However, if you have to alter occupancy in any way, you must have the company’s approval to do so. See your solicitor before buying

D
Deposit: Usually a percentage of the purchase price of a property placed in trust as evidence of intention to buy. Non-refundable after the contract becomes unconditional  (ie. All conditions have been met). It goes towards the purchase price when the sale is completed

E
Easement: A right held by someone to use land belonging to someone else for a specific purpose. Mains, drains, and water pipes are usually covered by an easement
Encroachment: When a building overhangs someone else’s property, or a fence is built over the dividing line between two properties
Encumbrance: An easement, mortgage, or other liability on a property which impedes its use or transfer
Equity: The total value of the asset minus what is owing on the asset (the loan balance)

F
Fixtures and Fittings: Fixtures are items such as baths or stoves, light fittings, kitchen, cupboards – these things stay with the sale of the property.  Fittings can be negotiated in the contract of sale and an be removed without causing damage
Flat interest rate: Is calculated on the original amount of the mortgage for the whole term of the loan
Freehold: An owner’s interest in land where the property and the land on which it stands both belong to their owner indefinitely

I
Interest only loan: loan on which interest only is paid periodically and the principle paid at the end of the term.
Inventory: List of items included with a property for sale; usually furniture, furnishings and other removable items
Investment: The purchase of an asset, such as real estate, with the ultimate goal of producing capital gain on the resale of the asset

J
Joint tenants: Joint tenancy is the equal holding of property by two or more persons. If one person dies, his/her share passes on to the survivor/s

L
Land tax: Value-based levy applied to some property (exemptions include principle place of residence)
Lease: A document granting possession of a property for a given period without conferring ownership. The lease document specifies the terms and conditions of occupancy by the tenant, including period of occupancy, rent payable, etc
Leasehold: The interest in land of a person who owns a lease granted by a freeholder
Liabilities: Your outstanding debts or what you owe

M
Mortgage: Legal agreement on the terms and conditions of a loan for the purpose of buying real estate
Mortgagee: One who lends the money for the property
Mortgagor: One who borrows the money to purchase property
Multiple listing: System of selling the property through many agents. The buyer pays only one commission. This goes to the agent who lists the property as a multiple listing and is shared between the first agent and the agent who actually finds the buyer.

O
Offer to purchase: A formal legal agreement which offers a specified price of a specified property. The offer may be with no conditions, or conditional (certain conditions apply)
Option to buy: Legal agreement giving the buyer the right to purchase the property at an agreed time and price

P
Principal: The actual amount of money that has been borrowed to buy a property
Private sale:  The seller does not engage a real estate agent but acts on his/her own behalf, dealing directly with the buyer
Private treaty sale:  Sale of a property via an agent through private negotiation and contract

R
Real property: Land with or without improvements
Reserve price: Price below which an owner is not prepared to sell at auction

S
Security: Property offered as backing for a loan
Semi-detached: Two buildings joined by a common wall
Settlement: Completion of sale when balance of contract price is paid to the vendor and the buyer is legally entitled to take possession of the property
Sole agency: One agent or agency has the exclusive rights to sell a property
Stamp duty: A State Government tax imposed on the sale of real estate. It is determined by the sale value, and it varies between states
Strata title: Most commonly used for flats and units, this title gives you ownership of a small pierce of a larger property including ‘air space’. You have sole right to a particular unit and can lease, sell or legally dispose of your unit as you desire. You also have an undivided share of the common land. You also become a member of the body corporate which controls maintenance
Survey: Confirmation of the property boundaries and improvements

T
Tenants in common: Tenancy in common is the holding of property by two or more persons, either equal shares or unequal shares. If one person dies, the property I dealt with in accordance with the law
Term: The time length of a loan. When the loan term expire, the loan is renegotiated
Title search: The process of examining the land title to ensure the vendor has the right to sell and therefore transfer ownership. A title search details the names of the owners and other information about the property such as encumbrances or caveats on the title
Townhouse: Two-storey attached building, usually strata titled

U
Unencumbered:
 Property free of covenants or other restrictions

V
Valuation: Assessment of the value of a property given in a written report by a registered valuer
Variable-rate loan: A home loan for which the interest rate changes as the money market changes
Vendor: Person offering a dwelling for sale
Vendor statement: Statement setting out particulars of the property, made by the vendor

Z
Zoning: Control of the use of land exercised by local authorities or the responsible planning authority