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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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second mortgage A mortgage that is paid off only after the first mortgage is paid when the property is sold.
security An asset that is pledged as collateral until the loan is repaid in full.
seller's market When demand for property is greater than the supply. This often gives owners greater opportunities to sell quicker or even at a figure greater than the asking price.
semi-detached A type of construction where two buildings are attached together by a common wall. Also called a duplex.
settlement date The date on which the new owner finalises payment and assumes possession of the property.
settlement The sale of a property is finalised by the legal representatives of the buyer and seller, costs are paid, mortgage documents go into effect, and the new owner takes possession of the property.
signatory The person authorised to access an account.
special condition Before the contract is legally binding certain conditions must be met. An example is having the building inspected.
square A square is a measurement of home area in Australia. One square equals approximately 9.3 square meters.
stamp duty A state government tax on conveyance or transfer of real property calculated on the total value of the property including chattels.
subdivision A tract of land divided into individual lots for a housing development.
survey A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, location of buildings, improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features within a block of land.
susceptibility report This report shows the possibility of future pest infestations.

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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