Jargon Buster

Agent
The person or firm appointed in writing, by the seller to act on the sellers behalf with buyers.

Apartment
Is a self-contained housing unit,usually of a residential nature, that occupies only part of a building.

Appreciation
An increase in property value triggered by inflation, improvements or increased demand.

Asset
The sum of a person’s real and personal property, including equities

Auction
The sale of a property to the public, to the highest bidder at a set time and date.

Body Corporate
The legal administrative group of owners, overseeing the administration of the common property area for strata titled properties.

Breach of Contract
Breaking the terms of the contract or agreement.

Bridging Finance
A temporary loan to bridge the time-gap between paying for one property and receiving payment from a previous property, whilst still owning the original property.

Building Line
The distance from the road, from which buildings must be erected.

Capital Gain
The profitable difference between your original buying price and current selling figure.

Certificate of Title
The paper that records property ownership lodged at the Land Titles office

Commission
A percentage payable to a real estate agent for selling a property by the person authorising the sale.Usually calculated as a percentage of the sale price.

Contract for Sale
Written agreement setting out the terms and conditions of a property sale.

Conveyancing
Legal process of transferring the ownership of a property from one person to another.

Counterpart
An identical copy of an original document.

Date of Settlement
The day, under the terms and conditions of the contract, when a vendor is obliged to transfer the property to the purchaser.

Deposit
Usually 5% – 10% of the purchase price of a property placed in trust as evidence of intention to buy. Non-refundable, after an unconditional exchange of contract, it goes towards the purchase price when the sale goes through.

Depreciation
Drop in a property’s value due to passage of time, deterioration, or changes to neighbouring properties.

Easement
The contractual right of one person to use a portion of another persons land, usually as a drive for access or for the run off of water.

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 percentage of a property an owner holds after outstanding loans have been deducted from the market value.

Facade
The front face of a building.

FHOG
First Home Owners Grant Scheme – grants and incentives available to eligible people buying their first Australian property.

Fixtures
Items that cannot be removed without damaging the building.Refers to items in or around a property.

Freehold
A property which is owned outright and for unlimited duration.

FSR
Floor Space Ratio: the permitted maximum size of a dwelling expressed as a percentage of the land size.

Home Units
Individually-owned homes in a development of two or more homes.

Joint Tenants
Joint tenants hold property in equal shares no matter how many joint tenants there are. Upon the death of a joint tenant the share passes to the other joint tenant/s (in equal shares if more than one) automatically without reference to any intention of the deceased person, as may be set out in a will (see also Tenants in Common).

Joint Venture
Two or more people or companies combine to carry out a project or enterprise.

Landlord
The owner of a property for leasing.

Lease
The formal arrangements by which one party has use of another’s property, in return for rent.

Lessor
The party who grants a lease over their property.

Listing
A property available for sale.

Maintenance
The expenditure required to keep a property in an efficient operating condition.

Market Price
The price paid for a property, whereas “market value” is only an estimate.

Mortgage
A document pledging a property as security for the repayment of the money you borrow on the property.

Mortgagee
The lender (generally the bank) on the mortgage.

Mortgagor
The borrower.

Passed In
When a property fails at auction to reach the vendors reserve price. (The highest bidder has the right to meet the reserve price or try to negotiate an acceptable price).

Private Sale
The sale of a property without the assistance of a Real Estate Agency.

Property Management
A real estate agent manages properties for landlords ensuring the property complies with legislation and regulations at all times, selecting tenants, collecting rents, arranging maintenance and so on.

Real Property
The ownership of physical real estate land and buildings.

Reserve Price
Price below which an owner is not prepared to accept at auction.

Section 66W
A certificate issued by a solicitor or conveyancer confirming that they have advised their client as to the terms of a Contract for Sale and as such are waiving the buyers right to a cooling-off period.

Settlement
Completion of the sale is when the balance ofthe contract price is paid, to the vendor and the buyer is legally entitled to take possession of the property.

Stamp Duty
A State Government Tax imposed on the sale of real estate. It is determined by the selling figure, and it varies between states.

S.T.C.A
Subject to council approval.

Strata Title
The title for a segment of a property, flat, unit, office, in which the whole building can contain several different owners.

Tenant
Occupant of a property whether it be a house, unit or apartment.

Tenants in Common
This is where two or more individuals hold property as tenants in common in any shares. Upon the death of a tenant, the share in the property is dealt with in accordance with the deceased’s will.

Title Deeds
The documents proving ownership of a property.

Valuation
An estimated value of a property based on features and renovations by a registered certified practicing valuer.

Vendor/Seller
A person who engages a real estate agent and who is obliged to pay that agent a commission or fees, for selling their home.

Disclaimer

Although every care has been taken in arriving at these definitions, it has been prepared as a guide only. It should not be relied upon solely, when making a decision about your legal position and it is advisable to contact your legal advisor for a more detail explanation and a further understanding of these definitions.