If you’re going through the process of selling or purchasing property right now, or you’re sitting down as a tenant to sign a lease, and there are a dozen foreign words staring back at you, from gazumping to owner’s equity, don’t stress – we’ve got you covered.

We have prepared a list of the most common terms you may come across during a real estate transaction and their meanings:

ABSENTEE LANDLORD - An owner or sub-lessor who owns and earns income from a rental, but does not live in the area.

ACCELERATION CLAUSE - A clause in a mortgage document which allows a lender to require the borrower to repay all of the outstanding loan immediately, should there be a breach of conditions.

ARREARS - Unpaid money that is owed.

AUCTION AGENCY AGREEMENT - An agreement that outlines the reserve price, cost of auction, agent’s commission and advertising price. It also includes a condition that one agent will have exclusive rights for a period of time, to sell the property. This agreement needs to be signed by the vendor when the property is first listed for auction.

CAPITAL GAIN - A profit from the sale of property that gives higher worth than the purchase price.

COOLING OFF PERIOD - A period of time after a sale contract is made, where the buyer can cancel the contract.

DATE OF SETTLEMENT - The date on which the final payment for the purchased property is made and the contract is finalised.

EXCLUSIVE LISTING - A single agent is appointed to sell or lease a property. Under the agreement made, the agent is entitled to any commission resulting in a transaction, regardless if it is sold or leased by another agent during the exclusive period.

FINANCIAL PRE-APPROVAL - People interested in buying a house will often approach a lender, who will check their credit history and verify their income, and then will advise whether or not they will be able to get a loan up to a certain amount. See our article 'What is finance pre-approval, and when do you need it?' for more information

FIXED INTEREST RATE - An interest rate that remains unchanged for a set period -- it may apply during the entire term of the loan or just for part of the term.

FORECLOSE - Taking possession of a mortgaged property when mortgage repayments have not been paid.

GAZUMPING - Where the vendor agrees to sell a property and accepts the offer by the seller, but then sells it to a higher offer.

GUARANTOR - A person liable for someone else’s debt if the main party cannot fulfil the contract financially.

HOLDING DEPOSIT - A sum of money given from the buyer to an agent to secure a property and show commitment to the seller.

NEGATIVE GEARING - When you invest borrowed money and it is less than the costs of the investment, you can claim as a tax reduction.

OFFSET ACCOUNT - A transaction account linked to an eligible home or investment loan. The credit that you have in this account is used to offset the amount you owe on the loan, which will reduce the interest charged.

OWNER’S EQUITY – The value of the homeowner’s interest in the property.

PASSED-IN - If a property’s reserve price is not met, the property will not be sold at auction.

STAMP DUTY - A tax levied by the state government, where a percentage of the purchase price is calculated and paid by the buyer.

TITLE - The form of ownership of real estate (i.e. Torrens, strata or company title).

TITLE DEEDS - A legal document that shows ownership of a property.

VALUATION - An estimation of the value of an asset at that particular time.

VENDOR - The person selling an asset.

ZONING - Where the government determines and controls the development of the land and specifies where residential, industrial, recreational or commercial areas may be.

Now that we have taken you from A to Z with a list of Real Estate Terminology, you should feel more comfortable speaking with your agent, and if you’re not, just pull this article out and you’ll soon be up to date.