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Real Estate Glossary and Jargon Buster

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Real Estate Jargons and what they mean

The Real Estate Industry is full of industry jargons and words being used creatively by our friends in the real estate agents. In this blog, our buyers advocates will discuss the most commonly used terminologies, explain what they are, what they mean, and what what should you do, when you come across them.

While we attempt to cover most of the commonly used real estate words and phrases, we might inadvertently leave out some. If there are any which you are unsure, do feel free to drop us a comment or text, and we will explain them.

Now, let's jump straight into it.

Real Estate Jargons - and what they mean


An appraisal on the property is an estimate of how much the home can sell for. This is similar but different from a Valuation of the property. This article explains the difference between an appraisal and a valuation in more details.


Appreciation is the amount a home increases in value over time. Some may call it growth.

Assessed Value

An assessment is used to determine how much taxes or council rates the owner of a property will pay. An assessor calculates the assessment of a home’s value by looking at comparable homes in your area and reviewing an inspection of the home in question.


Property is scheduled for auction. Auction is a process where interested parties gather and make offers for the property. This article will further explain what an auction is, what you should do, and how you can beat the auctioneer at the auctions.

Auction - Offers Accepted Prior

Property is scheduled for auction. There is a chance the real estate agents and owners may accept offers prior to the scheduled auction.

Auction - Unless Sold Prior

Property is scheduled for auction. There is a chance the real estate agents and owners may accept offers prior to the scheduled auction.

Boardroom Auction

Similar to Auctions, but with a twist. This is usually conducted with little notice, and usually held at the real estate agent's office. This article will further explain what it is and how you should manage it.

Closed Auction

This may sound similar to an auction, but this auction is totally different from your regular auctions. With a closed auction, you do now know who the other bidders are, what their bids are, and you do not even know if there is another bidder. This article will further explain what it is, expose what your read estate agents do not want you to know, and also teach you how to manage yours and the agent's expectations.


The process of legally transferring the ownership of property and money from one vendor to the buyer. This is usually done by a conveyancer or solicitor.

Exchange of Contract

When all parties have accepted and signed the contract of sale. The contract may still be subject to certain conditions.


Gentrification is a shift in an urban community toward wealthier residents and businesses, with consequent increases in property values. It is a by-product of urban renewal. If it was previously a lower socioeconomic status, It may not necessarily mean the residents have better income. Most of the residents are probably still around, while the area is being modernised. One thing is for sure though, things are getting more expensive for them, and time will eventually drive them out into more affordable areas.

House and Land Package

Usually a 2 part contract consisting of a contract for the purchase of land, and a second contract to build a house on it.

Lower Socioeconomic Areas

A lower socioeconomic area refers to a geographic region or neighborhood characterized by a population with limited financial resources and reduced access to key social and economic opportunities. In these areas, residents typically experience lower average incomes, reduced educational attainment, and limited access to quality healthcare, housing, and essential services. These areas may also exhibit higher rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, and substandard living conditions.


Modernised means renovated, updated to current trends. If a property is modernised prior to sale, chances are, it is just a cosmetic renovation.

Mortgagee Sale

A forced sale by the bank or lender. This is usually the lender/bank has exhausted all means of trying to recover late mortgage repayments from the owner.

Mortgagee in Possession

The owner has been late in their mortgage repayments and obligations and the bank/lender is now taking steps to repossess the property.

Must Sell

Means nothing more than the property is for sale. It is the real estate sales agents' way of catching attention, and potentially create an urgency. Treat this like a normal sale. If the agent can list take the effort and the owner can spend the few thousand dollars to advertise it, the property is for sale... isn't that obvious?

Newly Refreshed

Newly renovated. We'll be extra careful with newly renovated properties. If it was done as a reno-flip project, chances are, most are DIY jobs. Corners are likely cut, cheap parts are used, and some work might not have licenced trades to do the work when they have to,

Off Market Properties

In the strictest sense, it is a property that is not listed for sale, and the owners have no concrete plans to sell. Sellers usually approach buyers advocates and buyers agents directly, to prospect for a buyer. However, this term has been misused by real estate sales agents. Sales agents presenting "off-market" properties are misrepresenting these properties as off-market properties. When a seller sends a property to a sales agent, the intent is already clear. The vendor or seller wants to sell, and they have already formally engaged a sales agent (usually exclusively) for this sale. Not listing these properties openly suggest they do not wish public scrutiny and could suggest they have something to hide. This article will explain in more details.

Offers Accepted Prior

Real estate agents and owners are ready to accept offers, before the scheduled sale or auction date.

On Contract

When all conditions have expired and the offer to purchase is accepted by all parties.

Passed in at Auctions

When a property is passed in at auctions, it means the property was auctioned, but it could not find a buyer. This article will help explain what it means, and what you need to know and how to negotiate a property which had been passed in.


Well used property. Expert to see some wear and tear.

Property Investment Strategist

In the strictest sense, it is some real estate investment specialist who specialises in understanding the investor's needs and goals before recommending the right type of strategy and properties for them. Unfortunately, this title has been misused by one and probably many other real estate project marketers to confuse buyers and investors. Most of these are unfortunately unlicenced real estate agents, thus they avoid calling themselves real estate agents. These fake strategists are no more than unlicenced real estate sales persons. All they are interested in, is to sell you what they have, not what you need. Buying your properties through these strategies often end up with the properties underperforming badly.

Property Manager

The real estate agent looking after the rental properties.

Renovate or Detonate

These are the cheapies. The ones where you can usually buy below market value. The property is unlikely to be in a liveable condition. Perfect fit for buyers who is prepared to do a major renovation or tear down and rebuild.

Sell By Set Date

A property sale process by which the property must be sold by a certain date. This article will explain what a Set Date Sale means, how you should manage this buying process and how you can buy the property you want, in this process. Our buyers advocates can you purchase the property you want, via the Sell by Set date process.


Settlement is the process of formally transferring the ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. This usually happen by paying the remaining purchase price and becoming the legal owner of a home. At settlement, your lender will disburse funds for your home loan and you'll receive the keys to your home. In Victoria, settlement usually takes place around 8 weeks after contracts are exchanged.


Tender Loving Care. See below.

Tender Loving Care

When it says need some tender loving care, expect to see a property that needs renovation. The scope of required renovation would depends on how creative or honest the real estate agent is, and what the buyer's expectations. We had seen some buildings with structural issues being listed as needing "TLC".

Unconditional Contract

A contract for the sale of a property that the vendor and purchaser have agreed upon that has no condition or the condition have been satisfied and confirmed and therefore is considered a sale.


An assessment of the property value by a licenced assessor.


Person who owns the property for sale.


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