To help you during this process, we have compiled a list of the most common (and often confusing) terms you may come across when selling or purchasing an existing home, unit, townhouse and/or vacant block of land. During the conveyancing process when buying or selling property, you’ll likely be faced with some terms that you may not be familiar with, but are important to the process. 


Refers to the process of ‘splitting’ the outgoings for a property between the seller and the buyer so that a seller and buyer only pay for the outgoings for the time they were in possession of the property.

The real estate agent who the seller, or vendor, has engaged to manage the sale of the property.


Caveat is Latin for “beware”. A caveat is a warning that someone other than the owner claims a right over or an interest in the property.

Also known as a title deed. A certificate of title is a public document that shows the legal ownership of land/property, including any interests and restrictions on the land. These days, certificates are maintained in electronic form.

Is personal property that is easily moveable. Examples of chattels include fridges and washing machines.

Is a legally binding agreement between a seller and buyer where the seller agrees to sell specific property to the buyer for an agreed sum of money on certain terms and conditions.

In Queensland, the cooling off period is five business days. It commences from the business day the contracts are exchanged and ends at 5pm on the fifth business day. During the cooling off period, the buyer may elect to terminate the contract (without reason). A penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price applies on termination.

Is a condition tied to the land that restricts or imposing conditions on the use of the land.

The term given to developments containing multiple dwellings. This can be a house in a gated estate, a townhouse, or an apartment in a high rise. The Title for a property within a Community Titles Scheme has the same rights as the Title for a property on an individual block of land, except for the inclusion of common areas, such as a pool, gym, or shared car park.

Completion refers to when the conveyancing process has finished and the change of ownership of the property has occurred.

  • An easement for services such as water, sewerage, and electricity.
  • A right of way.
  • A right of access

  RCB Can assist you with the drafting and registration of any Easement you require.


When you are selling a property that has a mortgage on it you must arrange with your lender for the discharge of this mortgage. This is done by contacting your lender who will arrange for a Release of Mortgage document to be prepared and made available to the buyer at settlement in return for the funds required to pay out and discharge your mortgage.

The deposit is the consideration that the buyer pays to the seller upon entering into the contract of sale. The standard deposit is up to 10% of the purchase price and this amount can be paid in two parts; as an initial deposit and a balance deposit. The deposit holder is usually the real estate agent. The amount of the deposit is offset against the purchase price.

A sum of money (other than professional fees) that is paid on your behalf by your conveyancer to third parties. An example of a disbursement is the cost of title searches.

To make improvements to land, usually by way of construction of the construction of a building.


A right of use for a property that is listed on the property’s title, whereby someone other than the property owner has a right to use the property for a specific purpose, for instance, shared paths and driveways. Is registered on the certificate of title. It is an interest attached to land that gives a third party the right to use a specified part of the land for a specified purpose. An example of an easement is a right of way over a shared driveway.

Is an interest held over land by a person other than the owner of the land. In Queensland, you can have both a registered and unregistered encumbrance. A formal burden or charge over a property listed on the Title; such as a mortgage, easement, or lease.


At times the State Government offers grants to first home buyers to assist them in purchasing a property. The grant amount and eligibility vary and your lawyer will provide the most up to date information to you.

Items that are attached to the property and which ownership moves from the seller to the buyer with the property.

The most common, and the highest interest, in land that a person can hold in property, other than the Government.

The date upon which the Buyer is required to have obtained finance approval for the property. If you are taking out a mortgage for the purchase then this will be a condition of the Contract of Sale.

Refers to a buyer’s contractual right to conduct a final inspection of the property prior to settlement.


Is a type of shared ownership of property. Each owner has an undivided interest in the property. Joint tenancy creates a right of survivorship. This means that when one owner dies, the interests of the deceased joint tenant automatically passes to the surviving joint tenant. It is common for married couples to own property as joint tenants.


The central registry for the ownership of real property in each state. The transfer is registered with the Land Titles Office.


If a lender loans you money to purchase a property, the lender will register a mortgage over your property. A mortgage is a legal instrument which is used to create a security interest in real property held by a lender as security for a debt.

The person to whom the loan is made to buy the property.

A mortgagor is an individual or other entity that borrows money by pledging the property to finance its purchase. The mortgagor is liable to pay regular periodic mortgage instalments to the lender until the completion of repayment. After its completion, the mortgagee returns the full ownership right to the borrower.


The Queensland Government department that assesses stamp, or transfer duty and accepts payment of it as part of the transaction in the purchase of property.

Formal notification of settlement of the property provided to the real estate agent authorising them to release the keys to the buyer and the deposit to the seller.


Is the next best thing to an actual loan. A pre-approval means that the lender has agreed, in principle, to lend you money for the purchase of a property.

A standard condition of a contract of sale in Queensland is a pest and building inspection, which provides a buyer with the right to have the property inspected for any pests and/or building defects.

PEXA is an electronic system currently being implemented across Australia that will allow for property transactions to be conducted wholly online.

The fee that is charged by your lawyer to manage the conveyancing process for you.

The person/entity purchasing the property.


An easement is the right to use a section of land in a particular way.

If you are considering a small or major subdivision on your property, you are going to require the services of a surveyor and/or town planner.

The surveyor will draft the Survey Plan in line with council requirements and applicable legislation.

Once Council has signed off, we can assist you with registration of the survey plan, whether for a mini or major subdivision or strata development.


Settlement occurs when the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller in return for title documents (allowing for the legal title in the property passes from the seller to the buyer) and keys.

These are clauses that are added to a contract to vary standard terms or introduce new terms.

Enquiries into the property made by a solicitor on a buyer’s behalf. Common searches include; a title search, registered plan, land tax and rates & water search.

A person who attends the settlement on behalf of the buyer or seller


Refers to ownership over a certain share of the property, for example, 50%. Tenants in common are co-owners of the property. There is no right of survivorship.

Is a State tax that is levied on the purchase of a property. It is paid by the buyer.

The official legal document that shows the property’s title particulars, its current registered owner and any encumbrances.


The title to the property is free of any encumbrances, such as a mortgage or a caveat or writ.


The purchasing of a property that will be vacant at settlement, with no tenant or any other person living in it.

The person selling the property.

Client Feedback

Augustus & Bianca have been fantastic to deal with in all 3 of my property purchases. They are quick and clear with their communication. Understand the process and offer excellent advice and support. I have recommended them to many friends and family and will continue to do so. Amazing work guys!

Jack B.

Augustus and Bianca has made our first investment property purchase so smooth running! Their communication and responses were so prompt and they always answered any queries we had. The process was super relaxed and we were never once concerned. We would highly recommend Augustus and Bianca!!

Cassie T.

Thanks to Augustus the whole process of buying my first home was absolutely stress free. He knew exactly what he was doing, was very quick and clear with communication through the whole process. Made the impossible possible settling on my settlement date just after Christmas break. I didn’t have to worry about a thing! Highly recommend.

Curtis M.

Tamara and Francois made the whole process of selling our house so easy and stress free. They kept us informed all the way through so we knew exactly what was happening next.
My husband and I would have no hesitation in recommending their services.

Ann H.

Buying a property is really stressful but I found having Francois as my conveyancer was brilliant. He was thorough, conscientious and made me feel that he genuinely cared about the smooth transfer. All the way through he was courteous, efficient and thoughtful. I would definitely recommend him to anyone buying or selling. Awesome!

Heather G.

Sharon at RCB Law handled my recent purchase of land. Everything was so simple and way too easy and completely stress free. I had some queries following settlement and Sharon was only too happy to take them off my plate and handle them for me. Couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

Carol M.

I write to express my sincere and heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to Augustus from RCB Law for his excellent work, professionalism, kindness and understanding, especially on those occasions when I must have asked what could have been construed as pretty ‘silly’ questions!

Considering that we were the first home buyers, we found the whole process stress free due to your guidance. The things were pretty well explained and taken care all the way up to settlement.

Also, 25 days settlement would have not been possible without your efforts!!

I have no reservation in highly recommending your firm to anyone seeking services that require a Solicitor.

Vinash S.

Tamara has been extremely helpful and professional throughout our experience of both selling a property and then purchasing another. We had a complex settlement situation which Tamara handled with ease and made the whole process very stress free, we would highly reccommend RBC Law

Sharon K.