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Terminology

Appreciation: The increase in the value of property caused by economic factors such as inflation, supply and demand.

Auction: A public sale in which a property is sold to the highest bidder

Boundary: A line separating adjoining properties

Caveat: If a caveat is lodged upon a title of land, it indicates that a third person (the person who has lodged the caveat) has some right or interest in the property

Certificate of Title: A document identifying the ownership of land; it shows who owns the land and whether there are any mortgages or other encumbrances on it. Many people refer to this documents as the “Deed” to a property

Common Property: An area which is available for the use by more than one person, e.g. home units have common areas such as stairs, driveways etc

Cooling Off Period: The standard contract provides for a period of five business days, after the date of exchange of contracts, during which the contract may be canceled or rescinded

Covenant: An agreement by one party to adhere to certain terms, conditions or restrictions regarding a property. A covenant is not usually valid unless noted on the title of land. The nature of the covenant should always be established

Disbursements: Miscellaneous fees and charges incurred during the Conveyancing process, including search fees charged by Government authorities

Fittings: Goods or articles that can be removed from a property without causing damage to it

Fixtures: Items such as built-in wardrobes, bath, toilet, stove etc that cannot be removed from a property without causing damage

Gazumping: Gazumping is when a purchaser’s offer has been accepted and the purchaser begins pre-contract enquiries, only to find that the seller has accepted a higher offer from someone else

Inventory: A list of items included with a property, usually furniture, furnishings, movable items etc

Joint Tenant: Joint tenancy is the holding of property by two or more people in equal shares. If one person dies, his/her share passes to the remaining survivors

Option To Buy: A legal document giving a person the right to buy. In the document the price and period are specified. A fee is paid and if the person proceeds to buy the property the amount comes off the purchase price. If the person does not proceed to buy the property the fee is forfeited

Owners Corporation: All the owners collectively of a block of units. The executive committee of the owners corporation, which is elected by the members, meets regularly to discuss various matters relating to the administration of the building (e.g. upkeep of common property)

Right Of Way: A right which gives a person access across certain land

Settlement: Settlement is the completion of a transaction whereby all parties attend to hand over certain documents in exchange for others or money

Tenants in Common: This is the holding of property by two or more people in equal or unequal shares. If one person dies, his share passes to the person named in his Will, not the remaining owners

Torrens Title: Torrens Title is the name given to the Government system of recording ownership of land. It is by far the most common land title, and the cheapest to buy and sell. Once you are registered on the Title, you are guaranteed ownership

Transfer: A document registered at the Land Property Information Office New South Wales acknowledging the change of ownership of a property, to be noted on the Certificate of Title