February 2, 2022

10 common real estate terms explained

Like any industry, real estate comes with its fair share of terminology, and occasionally it can sound a bit daunting.

Whether you’re a first time buyer, a seasoned investor or just looking for a bit of a refresher, here are 10 common real estate terms explained.


An appraisal is the price a real estate agent believes your property would achieve if you sold it in the current market.

It’s important to understand this appraisal might be different to the price a bank would value your property at, or the way your council might value a property.

Instead, an agent’s valuation (appraisal) of your property takes into account market forces including buyer demand, current property supply, similar properties on the market and more.

Sales campaign

Basically, a sales campaign encompasses all the decisions you and your agent make about how your property will be priced, marketed, and sold.

It’s a strategy that varies from property to property and suburb to suburb depending on the type of buyer you’re appealing to, and the timeframe within which you hope to sell.

But to put it briefly, the aim of any sales campaign is to generate interest in your home and attract potential buyers.

Method of sale

The method of sale is the way you intend to sell your property, whether that’s via auction, private treaty, expression of interest or tender.

Your agent is best positioned to advise you on which method of sale is likely to suit your property and your circumstances.

Days on market

Days on market is the number of days between when the property is advertised for sale and when it actually sells.

If you’re considering buying or selling, this number is an important one to know. 

Low days on market for your suburb indicates property is selling quickly in your area. High days on market might indicate there is greater supply than demand.

Off market sale

An off-market sale happens without the need for advertising and marketing. 

Instead, an agent might seek to match a property with someone in their database of buyers, or they may approach a property owner on a buyer’s behalf, asking if they’d consider selling.

Under offer

A property is considered under offer when a potential buyer puts forward the price they are willing to pay for a property in writing. At this stage the seller can accept or reject that offer and no contracts have been exchanged.

Under contract

A property is under contract when the seller accepts the buyer’s offer and the two parties exchange legal documents.

Once the conditions of these documents are met, the property proceeds to settlement.

Cooling-off period

Once the contracts have been exchanged there is a cooling-off period, which gives both the buyer and seller a short amount of time to change their mind if they wish to.

The length of a cooling off period varies from state to state, and there may still be a small fee involved if you decide buying or selling that property is not right for you.  

Pest and building

Pest and building refers to two of the major inspections that every buyer is recommended to undertake before buying a property.

Pest inspections look for potential problems like ants, rodents or termites, while building inspections look for structural issues and other building concerns in the property.


Settlement is officially when a property changes hands. At this point the money transfers from the buyer to the seller and the buyer officially takes possession of the property.

Looking to buy or sell?

If you’re considering buying or selling a property, why not chat with one of our friendly Eview agents on 1300 438 439?

You can also view our list of currently available properties here.