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Real Estate Jargon

Real Estate Terms

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.