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Real Estate and Financial Terms

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Buying, selling or renting property in Australia and having trouble understanding what they're saying? To help you figure it out, we've created brief explanations of the words used. For more complete information, see your local real estate agent, financial advisor or solicitor.


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manhole An opening which permits access to the space between the roof and the ceiling, or below the floor.
market value The price at which a seller is happy to sell and a buyer is willing to buy. The objective of an appraisal is to establish the market value of a property.
maturity The date a debt must be paid in full.
mortgage A legal document that gives a lender rights to a property as security for repayment of a debt. The lender as mortgagee has the right to take the real estate if the mortgagor fails to repay the loan.
mortgagee The lender of funds in a mortgage.
mortgagor The borrower of funds in a mortgage.
mortgage broker A person or company marketing loans from their portfolio of lenders. They match the borrower to the best loan or loans from this selection.
Discharge Fee
A fee charged by some lending institutions to cover their costs for finalising a loan.
mortgage insurance A policy that insures the lender against the borrower defaulting on a loan where the sale of the property is not sufficient to cover the outstanding loan balance.
protection insurance
Insurance which covers the borrower's loan repayments in the event they are not able to meet them due to situations like redundancy and illness. This is not the same as mortgage insurance.
Registration Fee
A state government fee to register a loan.
Mortgage Stamp Duty A state government tax assessed on the dollar value of a mortgage.


negative gearing Where the return on an investment is not sufficient to cover the costs on the investment such as interest on the loan and property maintenance.
net income Income after taxes are deducted.
net worth The value of a person's assets minus liabilities.
nominee A person who, in a limited sense, acts for or represents another.
Notice of Default A formal written notice to a borrower that a default has occurred and that legal action may be taken.
Notice to Quit A notice to a tenant to vacate the property.

Note: We assume no liability resulting from any errors or omissions. Translation . . . we've done our best to bring you accurate information. However, you should seek your own independent advice as to the accuracy of the information supplied.

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