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A first-time buyer’s guide to understanding property transactions

Bond originator, conveyancer, general valuation roll … if these terms mean little to nothing to you, you’ve come to the right place. 

Whether you are thinking of buying, renting or selling, we’ve got an A-Z list of common property transaction terms to make sure you are in the loop and on top of your lingo when you are dealing with property experts. Let’s go:

  • Asking price: This is the price set for the home, usually suggested by a real estate professional based on a competitive market analysis and agreed to by the seller. Depending on demand, buyers can choose to make offers above or below the asking price.
  • Bond Originator: A free service that can help buyers find the best deal on their home loan. Bond originators have several services that will help buyers navigate the bond application process more efficiently. 
  • Conveyancer (also known as a transferring attorney): A legal professional who will attend to all the paperwork and other legalities that are required for a property transfer to take place. 
  • Deposit: An amount of upfront cash provided to the buyer upon acceptance of an offer to purchase. The rule of thumb here is roughly 10% of the asking price. A deposit is not a legal requirement, but can make a buyer’s offer more appealing and could help the buyer acquire the remaining home finance.  
  • General Valuation Roll: A document that presents a value upon which household municipal rates will be calculated until a new roll is issued. It is important to check this when it is released to make sure you do not end up paying more for municipal rates than what the home is truly worth. 
  • House Price Appreciation: a percentage of growth calculated based on average house prices in an area (usually calculated at a national level). These averages can provide an indication of how much more a property will cost in a year’s time. For landlords and tenants, these averages can provide an indication of what a fair annual rental escalation could be. 
  • Interest Rates: There are various rates at which interest is calculated on debts, including home loans. Consumers should focus on the Prime lending rate, as this is the base rate that banks use when offering loans to consumers. This will either be above or below Prime depending on how good your credit score is.
  • Off market sale: When a property is for sale, but it has not yet been publicly advertised or listed on any property portals.
  • Pre-approval:  A certificate issued by a bank that provides a buyer pre-approval of a certain loan amount, calculated based on what a buyer can afford. These amounts are only 100% finalised after the bank has completed a property valuation and has received a signed Offer to Purchase on a property.
  • Reserve Price: The minimum price set for a home when it is sold via auction.
  • Sole Mandate: A written agreement that places the responsibility on a single agent for a period of time. It is often far more effective to sign a sole mandate and allow one agent the space to secure the best sale. A sole mandate is also a more convenient option because sellers will only have to liaise and deal with one agent rather than several.
  • Turn-key property: A property that is move-in-ready, with no need to do any further renovations or updates.
  • Unconditional offer: An offer to purchase that is not subject to any other conditions, such as a home loan or private home inspection.  
  • Zoning: The type of property that can be built on a plot of land. Local planning authorities control zoning permissions.

For more property advice, visit RE/MAX.

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