Glossary of terms

Appraisal (sworn valuation)

An opinion of the value of a property; not a full valuation


When a property increases in value


A public sale of property, where sale is to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the seller’s reserve price

Bridging loan

A short-term mortgage loan that enables the purchase of one property before the sale of another; the bridging loan is normally paid off when the first property is sold

Certificate of title

A document that shows who owns a property and the existence of any limitations affecting the title such as mortgages, easements or encumbrances


Where someone has the right to access another person's land for a specific purpose, such as a driveway or public utilities


A restriction on the unfettered right to use or transfer property, for example easement, mortgage or caveat

First Home Owner Grant

A government scheme that gives first home owners a non-means tested one-off payment

Fixed rate

An interest rate that is fixed for a set period of time

Interest only loan

A loan where the borrower is only required to pay interest on the amount borrowed during a specified period; the borrower must still repay the full balance outstanding under the mortgage at the end of the term


A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold

Market value

Generally considered to be the price at which a seller is happy to sell and a buyer is willing to buy


A written contract that gives a lender rights over a house being bought by a borrower as security for a loan

Passed in

Where a property is not sold at an auction, usually because the seller’s reserve price is not reached

Purchase price

The amount agreed between a seller and a buyer as the price of a property

Reserve price

The minimum sale price for a property, as advised by the seller


The time when ownership of a property passes from the seller to the buyer

Stamp duty

A government tax paid by a purchaser, generally when ownership of the property is transferred; it is based on the property’s sale price

Transfer of land

A legal document that conveys title to a property

Variable interest rate

A type of interest rate that goes up and down according to markets