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Real Estate Terms

A-Z Glossary of Real Estate Terms

Like any profession, the real estate industry has a language of its own.  Many of these terms you will already be aware of but there may be some you have not come across.

An opinion of the market worth of a property.

A preferred marketing option where you list your property without a price, supported by very intensive marketing leading buyers to the auction day, where they must bid against each other to successfully purchase your property in an unconditional situation.

Person holding an auctioneer's license and able to conduct and call auctions.

Buyer of the listed property.

Current or Competitive Market Analysis (CMA), is a written price comparison of your property with others that are for sale or were recently sold.

Conditional Contract  
A written contract which has been signed by the seller and the buyer but has one or more conditions which need to be met, usually within a specified time period.  For example, "subject to the solicitor's approval of the title."

The fees for selling the property - payable by the seller, to the real estate company.

Transferring the ownership of a property from the vendor to the purchaser. It is often performed by a solicitor or conveyancer.

An amount of the purchase price paid by the purchaser, usually at or around the time of making a written offer. The deposit must be held in a trust account by an estate agency or by the solicitor or conveyancer.

Excluded Fixtures  
Items that are presumed to stay with the property when sold but have been specified on the contract as not remaining.  Fixed items such as curtains, light fittings, ceiling fans, shrubs, built in cabinets etc.

A freehold property has a clear title of ownership and is not subject to a lease.

Included Chattels  
Moveable items you decide to sell with the property, such as pool equipment, fridge, freestanding glasshouse, shed or playhouse, dishwasher, etc.  These are noted in the contract if they are included in the sale.


Sometimes land is subject to a lease.  The owner of the land leases to the tenant for a fixed rental sum for a fixed period, e.g. 21, 99 or 999 years.

Listing Authority
A contract between the owner and the real estate company marketing the property.  It details the length of the agency, commission rate and any additional costs.  The type of marketing method to be used is assigned and a summary of information about the property is detailed on the Listing Authority.

Marketing Fees 
Money paid by a seller that goes directly to increase advertising spread.

Marketing Programme  
A promotional package put together to give a property exposure to the market.  It may include advertisements to be used, a calendar of dates for advertisements, open homes, buyer contact and service.

A signed contract, which includes the price, terms and conditions of sale, signed by the buyer then presented to the seller.

Off The Plan
Purchasing 'off the plan' means buying a property before it has been built or subdivided. These purchases are usually based on the designer or surveyors plans and models.

Open or General Listing  
Any appointed real estate agent/company can quote or sell your property.  General low level of marketing and feedback.  No one person is totally responsible for managing your sale.

Owners Corporation
The body corporate that has collective ownership of the common areas in a subdivision of land or buildings. it is responsible for the administration, upkeep and insurance of the common areas shared by all the owners.

Possession Date  
The date the purchaser physically takes possession of the property.

Section 32
See 'Vendors Statement'

Settlement Date 
The date when the seller is paid the full purchase price and ownership passes to the purchaser.

Dividing land or buildings into lots. The subdivision must be approved by local council.

Team Inspection  
An appointment time is scheduled with the seller for the listing agency’s team of consultants to visit the seller’s property and acquaint themselves with the property.

When the conditions written into the agreement to buy a property have been met, the offer becomes unconditional.  The property is now sold and both the seller and buyer must settle.

The person selling the property.

Vendor Statement
Information that the vendor must provide to the purchaser advising of restricitions such as covenants and easements, outgoings such as rates, and any other notices such as compulsory aquisition. the required information is specified under section 32 of the Sale of Land Act.

The system of controlling the use to which land may be put.

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