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Real Estate Terms A-Z

Like any profession, the real estate industry has a language of its own. Too help you look like a Real Estate guru we have attached some common phrases below.



An auction property is listed without a price. On auction day buyers bid unconditionally to successfully purchase the property.


Person holding an Auctioneer's license and able to conduct and call auctions.


Items that sell with the home, i.e. carpets, light fittings, drapes, curtains, etc. Any different chattels, such as a glasshouse, dishwasher, etc. are noted in the contract if they are included in the sale.


A CMA is a Comparative Market Analysis report prepared by a real estate consultant that provides information about properties currently on the market and properties that have recently sold that are comparable to the property being analysed. It is used to help determine the fair market value of the property.


The commission is paid by the seller to the real estate agency on the successful sale of the property. The commission is at the rate stated on the Listing Authority signed by the seller on appointment of the agency.


A written contract that is signed by the seller and the buyer, but where one or more conditions need to be met, usually within a specified time period. For example "subject to the purchaser obtaining finance within X days".


When the conditions written into the agreement have been met, the contract is confirmed. The property is now sold and both the seller and buyer must settle. (See also Unconditional)


Certificate of Title. Each individual piece of land has a Certificate of Title, which describes the type of title, its size, the name of the owner(s) and any encumbrances.

Excluded Fixtures

Items that are presumed to stay with the property when it is sold but have been specified on the contract as not remaining. Fixed items include items such as curtains, light fittings, built in cabinets etc.


A freehold property has a clear title of ownership and is not subject to a lease.

Ratable Value (RV)

Also known as "GV". A valuation used principally by local authorities to calculate rates.


Sometimes land is subject to a lease. The owner of the land leases to the tenant for a fixed rental sum for a fixed period e.g. 21, 99 or 999 years.


Land Information Memorandum (LIM) gives details of the land.

Listing Authority

A contract between the seller and the real estate agency marketing the property.

No Price Marketing

Usually called auction, tender, or for sale by negotiation. Buyers are asked to submit tenders/offers or bids based upon their perception of the property’s value.


A signed Sale and Purchase Agreement, which includes the price, terms and conditions of sale, signed by the buyer then presented to the seller.

Possession Date

The date the buyer physically takes possession of the property.

Property Information Memorandum (PIM)

A document that contains information relating to the location of the building and how the use of that building will affect services provided by the local authority.

Reserve Price

The reserve price is the minimum price (kept confidential between the seller, sales consultant and the auctioneer) the seller will accept for their property at an auction.


The Sale and Purchase Agreement allows time for the buyer's solicitor to examine the property title. If there is a problem with the title, or if a local authority requires special works to be carried out, the buyer may ask (requisition) that the seller fix these problems, or they may have cause to cancel the contract.

Settlement Date

The date when the seller is paid the full purchase price and ownership passes to the buyer.


(i) An unconditional offer is one where there are no conditions to be fulfilled.

(ii) When conditions written into a contract have been met, the contract becomes unconditional. The property is now sold and both the seller and buyer must settle.

Registered Valuation

A professional property valuation carried out by a registered valuer.


Seller of the property