REAL ESTATE TERMS

 


Deeds: Legal title documents proving ownership. The deeds will be held by the mortgage lender.

Deposit: A percentage of the purchase price given at the time of exchange or winning bid at auction to bind the sale. It's usually around 10 percent of the purchase price.

Easement: A right that someone has to use the land that belongs to another. An example is a water authority having a sewerage easement.

Exchange of contracts: The point at which signed contracts are physically exchanged, legally committing the buyer and the seller to the purchase and sale of a property at an agreed price.

Fittings: Objects that can be removed from a property without causing damage.

Fixtures: Items such as built-in cupboards, stoves, dishwashers, etc, which are fixed to the property and cannot be removed without causing damage.

Gazumping: This occurs when a seller accepts a buyer's offer and verbally agrees to sell the property to that buyer but later sells the property to another buyer offering a higher price.

Joint tenants: A form of co-ownership that gives each tenant equal shares in the property.

Listing: A written contract between an owner and a real estate agent, authorising the agent to perform services for the sale of the owner's property.

Local authority search: Procedure whereby a buyer's solicitor makes an enquiry to the local council regarding any outstanding enforcement or future development issues which might affect the property or immediate area.

Market value: The price at which a seller is happy to sell and a buyer is willing to buy.

Off the plan: When you buy off the plan, you are buying a property before it is built, having only seen the plans. This is commonly used for apartments or units under construction or soon to be built.

Open listing: A type of listing agreement in which more than one real estate agent may be employed to sell the property.

Owners corporation: The administrative body made of the owners of a group of units or apartments of a strata building.

Passed in: When the highest bid at an auction doesn't meet the reserve price set on the property. In effect, the property doesn't sell at the auction.

Private treaty: A sale of a property at an advertised price that can be negotiated.

Reserve price: The minimum price which a seller will accept at auction.

Semi-detached: A property which is joined to another house.

Settlement: The sale of a property is finalised by the legal representatives of the vendor and the purchaser and the new owner takes possession of the property.

Stamp duty: A state tax on conveyance or transfer of property calculated on the total value of the property.

Strata title: The most common title associated with townhouses and apartments. Individuals each own a portion of the title, known as a "lot" and share common property.

Studio: A flat consisting of one main room or open-plan living area incorporating cooking and sleeping facilities and a separate bathroom/shower room.

Valuation: A written analysis of the estimated value of the property prepared by a qualified valuer.

Vendor: The seller.

Zoning: Local authority guidelines for the permitted use of the land.