Real Estate Terminology

Real Estate Terminology You Should Know

CS Conveyancing-Real Estate Terminology

The great thing about having a conveyancer handle your transactions, whether buying or selling property, is that they do the legwork for you. You won’t have to worry about the nitty gritty, because that’s what they are there for.

But for those who want to be more involved, it’s going to be challenging, not because of the amount of paperwork, but because of terms used in real estate. What does “negative gearing” mean and why do I need to know about it? There is that, and truthfully, that’s just one of the pieces of jargon you may come across!

Don’t worry, because we have got you covered in that aspect. Here are some of the most commonly used real estate terminologies that you need to know. Our A to Z guide will give you some insight into property jargon used by those in the industry and have you talking like a pro in no time.

Amortisation period

The amount of time it will take to fully pay off a home loan


Refers to an increase in property value

Bank valuation

How the bank estimates/ appraises the value of a property

Bridging finance

A short-term loan a person gets to obtain new property while waiting for his/ her funds to be cleared after selling a previously-owned property

Capital gains

Refers to the profit earned after selling a capital asset


It’s a document stating that someone else aside from the current owner may have a financial interest or share in the property

Caveat emptor

It refers to a disclosure within the agreement saying the buyer needs to be aware of some points that may put him/ her at risk and it’s their responsibility to investigate this

CGT (Capital Gains Tax)

Tax applied on the sale of an investment property

Counter offer

A new offer given after a previous term or amount has been rejected by the owner


Refers to decrease in property value over a certain amount of time


Any cost that a real estate agent or other professional may pass onto the client, such as advertising costs


Value of a mortgaged property after deduction of charges and/or debts are deducted

Exchange of contracts

Refers to the part of the buying/selling process that happens no matter how your property is sold. One contract signed by the buyer and one by seller are swapped so each has a signed copy.

Exclusive listing

When exclusivity is in place, a specific agent is responsible for the sale of the property.


Refers to items that can be taken out of the property without damaging the structure such as curtains.


Items that are built in the property, and as such cannot be taken out such as taps, sinks, showers etc.


A person who will be liable to complete the agreed contract if the main party fails to do so.


This is an amount paid on top of the main amount, which can be fixed, variable, or a mix of the two.

Interest-only loan

Refers to an agreement when only the interest is repaid during the duration of a given loan. The lender is paid after the loan period ends.

LMI (Lenders mortgage insurance)

It’s an insurance to protect the lender against parties who fail to fulfill their part of the contract. Usually expected when a borrower doesn’t make a large deposit.

LVR (Loan-to-value ratio)

Refers to the proportion of money borrowed against the given value of an investment. When LVR is high, a lender will usually charge LMR (lenders mortgage insurance).

Mortgage protection insurance

An insurance policy that addresses a borrower’s repayments in the case of unfortunate events such as injury or illness.

Negative gearing

Refers to the situation where earnings derived from an investment is less than the costs associated with it, at least in short-term.

Offset account

Pertains to reduction of interest by offsetting the credit daily against home loan balance.

Reserve price

The lowest price a vendor agrees to sell. Usually a starting point for an auction.

Reverse mortgage

A type of mortgage that only requires repayments after the property is sold, or when the last homeowner dies, and is usually utilised by older homeowners.

Settlement date

The set date when sale of property is made final. The buyer pays the seller in full and gains possession of the property.

Stamp duty

Refers to tax applied on a contract, which is a percentage of the contract value. The amount varies from one state or territory to another.


Indicates the type of property ownership, such as strata title, company title, etc.

Trust account

A managed account where funds are held on behalf of another party.


Refers to the yearly rental income of a specified investment property.


Refers to a planning tool employed by local governments in determining how an area of land is to be utilised. Examples of which are metropolitan centre, high density residential, mixed use, etc.

And those are some of the important terms you need to be familiar with if you want to get a clearer grasp of what’s happening. Other than that, our conveyancers at CS Conveyancing can take care of everything for you!

Real Estate Terminology