Real Estate Glossary Letter :  S

Real Estate Glossary Letter :  S



SAILIS – The South Australian Integrated Land Information System that supports the State’s survey, titling and valuation functions and provides online access to property information including Certificates of Titles, Plans and Dealings.

SALEABLE PROPERTY –  Property that can be readily sold; marketable because of location, demand, price or some other desirable factor.

SALES AGENCY AGREEMENT – A legally binding document which is signed by the seller and the agent. It details the agreement between the seller and the agent. Many aspects of the sales agency agreement such as commission and advertising costs are negotiable between both parties. Remember you get what you pay for.

SALES REPRESENTATIVE – A registered person employed by a registered land agent to sell real estate.

SARKING – The silver like membrane laid on over the roof timbers and immediately under the roof tiles. In areas prone to bushfires, it keeps sparks from entering and igniting the roof timbers.

SASH –  Framework that holds the panes of glass in a window.

SA WATER SPECIAL METER READING – A non-periodic reading of a property’s water meter.

SCAFFOLDING – A tubular steel structure assembled on site which provides a working platform for tradesmen – usually bricklayers. Required by law.

SCALE – The relationship of an object to the human body (human scale); the relationship of the size of a drawing to the size of the actual object, eg. 100:1

SCHEDULE – A table in the construction documents that lists the location, sizes, and quantities of the windows, doors and mirrors to be installed in your home.

SCISSOR TRUSS – A truss or strut with a sloping bottom chord to produce a raked ceiling at a cheaper cost than rafters.

SCOTIA – A concave moulding.

SEASONED TIMBER – Timber dried to a stable moisture content prior to use. Either by air or kiln drying. Unseasoned timber will shrink over time as the timber dries, causing movement in the building structure.

SECOND SITE INSPECTION – A reinvestigation of a building site to consider matters not able to be assessed during the initial inspection eg. site levels after demolition.

SECTION – This is a land parcel identifier, part of a legal description of land subdivided by the government within hundreds.

SECTION 7 – A section of the Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994 that identifies the requirement for a statement of government interests to be served by a vendor or their agent, on a purchaser prior to settlement. The property interest report provides information to comply with this requirement.

SEDIMENT CONTROL BARRIER – A barrier placed around the boundary of the land on the low side to prevent silt or soil washing from the block of land into the street drainage system.

SELLER’S MARKET – The condition which exists when, under competitive conditions, the pressures of supply and demand are such that market prices are at a relatively high level, giving the seller an advantage. An under-supply causing prices to increase.

SECURITY – Property offered as backing for a loan. In the case of home loan money usually, acts as the security.

SEMI-DETACHED – A type of construction where two buildings are attached together by a common wall. E.g. a duplex

SEMI-GLOSS PAINT – A paint that dries to a finish not as dull as flat paint, but with less lustre than gloss paint. This finish is usually preferred for bathrooms and kitchens to prevent the formation of mould and for ease of cleaning.

SEPTIC SYSTEM – A private sewerage system consisting of a tank, distribution box and leaching field. The sewerage flows into the tank, the wastewater rises and goes out a pipe to the distribution box. From this point, the waste water is diverted into the leaching field consisting of three perforated pipes which allow the waste water for leaching into the ground. The sludge remains in the tank and must be pumped regularly.

SERVICEABILITY– Ability of borrower to make and meet repayments on a loan, based on the borrower’s expenses and income.

SERVICE FEE – Money paid to professionals for their work, e.g. agent or solicitor.

SET BACK – The distance from the front or interior property line to the point where a structure can be located.
Side Set Back – As above for side boundaries.

SETTLEMENT – (Purchased Property) This is the final stage of the sale when the purchaser completes the payment of the contract price to the vendor and takes legal possession of the property.

SETTLEMENT – (Built Property) Shifts in a structure usually due to movement cycles often caused by inadequate compaction or moisture changes in soils. Cracks or breaks in concrete, brickwork or plaster are common indications of ground settling.

SETTLEMENT DATE – The date on which a contract of sale is finalised and the balance of money is paid for an asset.

SEWERAGE– System of sewage disposal; a pipe or closed channel for carrying away sewage or waste water from premises for sanitary purposes.

SEWERAGE LINE – A diagram showing the property and the location of the house- service line, the building and the wastewater.

SHADOW DIAGRAM – A diagram representation of the shadowing effect on adjoining properties by the proposed new home to be built.

SHEET METAL WORK – Refers to all components of the house that uses sheet metal, including but not limited to gutters, downspouts, flashing and return air ducts.

SHINGLES – Tile-shaped roof covering made of asphalt, wood, ceramic, slate or other materials.

SHORING – The temporary or permanent support of an existing building, often due to demolition or of footing excavation to prevent collapse.

SHUTTERS – Door-like louvred frames installed on the sides of a window for decorative and/or protective purposes.

SILL – The lower horizontal portion of a window or door.

SITE – The block of land on which the home is to be built.

SITE ANALYSIS – Site analysis examines and records the existing characteristics of the site, and its surroundings and identifies the opportunities and constraints for the site in relation to Council’s policies.

SITE COSTS – Those costs that arise from placing a chosen home to be built on your land and the cost of connecting to services. Includes the levelling of the building area, connection of sewer and storm water, removal of trees, piering under the slab, deep edge beams, connection to power, material handling costs etc.

SITE COVERAGE – The percentage of the site covered by the new home. Imposed to prevent buildings being out of scale (too big) with the surrounding neighbourhood and to ensure sufficient open space, play area and off street parking. For example, you may be allowed to cover 40% – 60% of the site. Always check with your builder and/ or council.

SITE INSPECTION – An inspection of your new building site to assess the typography, service locations and all characteristics that are to be assessed in preparing a quotation.

SIMPLE INTEREST – Interest that is calculated on a sum that does not include previous interest charges.

SIMPLE LISTING – See Open Listing.

SITE VALUE – The value of a parcel of land excluding structural improvements for rates and government property taxing purposes. (It may have no bearing on market value or a bank’s valuation.)

SKEW NAILING – The driving of nails at an oblique angle often in different directions to improve the strength of a joint of fixing.

SKILLION – A roof sloping in one direction only with rafters pitching from, or leaning against the wall.

SKIRTING – Narrow and horizontal timber or custom wood strips around the bottom of the internal wall where it joins the floor. Usually to hide any gap there and prevent pests from entering.

SKYLIGHT – A window installed in the roof.

SLAB – A flat concrete foundation that rests directly on the ground, sometimes called slab-on-ground.

SLAB IN BRICKWORK – A flooring system whereby before the concrete slab is poured a perimeter wall of brickwork is constructed, filling brought on and the slab laid on top of the brickwork. Usually used where it’s necessary to raise the finished floor levels.

SLIP JOINT – A joint designed to allow movement between two members usually in the form of two layers of sheet metal with grease installed on top of a brick wall prior to installation of a concrete slab.

SLOPE – The slope (also called grade, incline, gradient, fall, pitch or rise) of land. It refers to the angle of that surface to the horizontal. A larger number indicates higher or steeper degree of “tilt”. The Slope is calculated by finding the ratio of the “vertical change” to the “horizontal change” between (any) two distinct points on a line. Generally speaking, the higher the slope, the more expensive to build. Sloping blocks often have views.Refer to this Chart

SLUMP TEST – Determines the consistency of a freshly-made batch of concrete by measuring the degree of collapse that occurs when the form is removed. A slump test is used in estimating the final strength of a concrete batch.

SOLD – Sold means Sold, (unless it’s not). A property is sold when price and conditions between buyer and seller have been agreed and all subject-to-conditions have been met. However, things can still go awry between being considered sold and settlement taking place. Get professional and trusted advice along the way.

SOLD AS-IS – Means the seller doesn’t take any responsibility for the condition or repairs or provide a warranty of any kind.  The cliché, “what you see is what you get” comes into play.  You can still do a home inspection however, all needed repairs will likely not be done by the seller. You just have to make sure that you realize what is wrong and that the price you’re paying reflects this. This is often associated with a mortgagee or an estate sale.

SOLE AGENCY – See Exclusive Listing.

SOIL CLASSIFICATION – A system to gauge reactivity of soil.
“S” means stable ground – not much expansion or contraction.
“M” means moderately reactive soil – some expansion or contraction.
“H” means highly reactive – a large measure of expansion and contraction.
These conditions are determined by engineers and foundation systems are designed to meet the appropriate classifications.

SOFFIT – The underside of eaves or a slab.

SOIL TEST – A test performed by engineers to determine the properties of soil within a specific area, such as its bearing capacity, permeability, water depth, etc. This information helps the builder decide which type of foundation would be best for a construction project.

SOLICITOR – A legally qualified person who undertakes legal work and provides legal advice for a fee. A solicitor may specialise in conveyancing and property law.

SPAN – The horizontal distance between two supports of a beam bridge or other structural element.

SPEC HOME – A house built on the speculation that the owner can sell it later at a profit.

SPECS/ SPECIFICATIONS – A narrative list of details that supplement working drawings and the information included in the plans, such as materials, colours, model numbers, allowances, methods, etc.

SPECIAL CONDITION – A condition that must be met before the contract is legally binding. For example, if buying a home, the purchaser may specify that the contract is not legally binding until the purchaser has obtained finance or a building inspection.

SPECIAL RESOLUTION – Special resolution is defined within the Strata Titles Act 1988 and the Community Titles Act 1996. It takes place at a meeting where all members are present and entitled to vote. Members must be given at least 14 days written notice and over 75% of the total votes cast must be in favour of the resolution (proposal) for it to be passed. Where there are 3 units or lots, 2 votes in favour of the resolution are required for it to be passed.

SPECULATOR – One who speculates; that is, one who buys any commodity, including real estate, in the expectancy of selling in a higher market.

SPROCKET – A framing timber used in eaves construction.

SQUARE– A square is a measurement of home area. One square = 9.3 square metres approximately.

SQUARE SET OPENING – An opening that does not have timber facings. The plasterboard is squared off or “square set”.

STAIR RISE – The vertical distance from one stair tread to the next.

STAIR RUN – The total horizontal distance from the first step to the last step; this is not the same as the sum of the individual tread lengths.

STAKEHOLDER – Person who holds the deposit that the buyer has paid to purchase a property – usually the agent or solicitor in their trust account.

STAMP DUTY – The tax imposed by state governments on certain contracts (e.g. Contracts of Sale and Registered Leases). The amount of tax payable is calculated as a percentage of the contract value

STANDARD LEASE – A lease in commonly used form into which specific clauses or provisions may be written.

STATIC VENT – A vent without a fan.

STCC – Subject to Council Consent. For example, a block is sold as sub-dividable STCC. Meaning the local council needs to give their approval after checking it meets planning and zoning guidelines and regulations.

STEPPED EDGE BEAM – Also called Deepened Edge Beam, Thickened Edge Beam, or Dropped Edge Beam. Refers to the edge beam around the edge of the concrete slab that has been enlarged or deepened to contain filling or to provide for a level floor where cutting and filling alone will not suffice.

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM – A system designed to manage the collection and controlled distribution of all roof and surface water generated on a building site.

STRINGER – The two pieces of timber between which the stairs are set. These can be painted or stained.

STOCK AND STATION AGENT – Stock and station agents are certified to broker transactions that involve livestock, rural property and agricultural products on behalf of their clients.

STOP ORDER – A formal, written notification issued to a contractor to discontinue some/all work on a construction project. It may be issued for such reasons as cancellation of contract, safety or building code violations, or the use of defective materials or bad workmanship.

STOP VALVE – A device installed in a water supply line that allows you to shut off the water supply to a specific fixture without interrupting the service to the rest of the system. Toilets, sinks, and bathtubs have stop valves.

STRATA CORPORATION – A corporation created by the deposit of a strata plan and consisting of the registered proprietors of the units defined in the plan.

STRATA PLAN – The registered plan of a strata title property showing the boundaries of lots and unit entitlements. Pursuant to legislation on strata or unit titles.

STRATA TITLE – Individual ownership of an apartment or unit within a block or multi-unit complex. This is separate from and additional to the joint ownership of common areas shared by all the property owners in the building or complex.

STREET TYPES – See abbreviations used here street types

STRUCTURAL FLOOR – A framed timber floor used as a base floor for houses built on very expansive soils as well as other surfaces where concrete floors are not suitable.

STUCCO – An exterior plaster finish that uses cement as a base as well as a binding agent.  Stucco may be used to cover less visually appealing construction materials such as metal, concrete, cinder block, or clay brick

STUD – An upright supporting member of a timber wall frame to which wall covering (plasterboard) are fixed.

STUD FRAMING – A building method that distributes structural loads to a series of lightweight studs, unlike a post-and-beam construction, which relies on heavy load-bearing vertical posts.

STRUCTURAL SURVEY – A detailed inspection of all aspects of the building structure, such as the types of material used, the state of the footings, the integrity of the walls, and the condition of the roof.

SUB-AGENT – A person employed by an agent as their sales representative to provide assistance in transacting the affairs of the principal. In some States including South Australia, a sub-agent is referred to as a sales representative.

SUB CONTRACTOR – A contractor working under another contractor and not directly for the client.

SUBDIVISION – Divisions by a land owner, of all or part of a parcel of land, into separate allotments (or sections), each with a separate title, in accordance with a ‘plan of subdivision’ approved by the planning authority.

SUB FLOOR – The open space below an elevated floor.

SUBJECT TO COUNCIL CONSENT or STCC – For example, a block is sold as sub-dividable STCC. Meaning the local council needs to give their approval after checking it meets planning and zoning guidelines and regulations.

SUB-LEASE / SUB-LET – A contract whereby the whole or part of the property is let to another person, the party letting being themselves a lessee. The obligations of the lessee to the lessor are not diminished. The length of the sub-lease must not be longer than the unexpired part of the head lease.

SUMP – A large receptacle installed inside the building or grounds for collecting ground water from the perimeter drains; a submersible pump sometimes pushes this water outside. Often referred to as a soakwell.

SUSPENDED  CEILING – A ceiling system hanging from the overhead structural framing.

SURETY– Person who makes themselves responsible for another’s payment of a debt; also knows as the guarantor.

SURVEY – The measurement and depiction on paper of the boundaries of real estate and the location of the improvements on the land, or measurement of a part of a building, usually undertaken by a registered surveyor.

SURVEY ACT – The statute that provides for the licensing and registration of surveyors and makes provisions relating to surveying and land boundaries.

SURVEY GRAPHIC INDEX – The survey graphic index is a series of maps (mostly standard 1:2500 series) annotated with numbers representing survey plans. The reverse side of the plan contains a cross-reference from the number to the actual plan reference. In some cases, only a search or document or docket or application reference is provided. Use the cross-reference search on SAILIS to check for plan references. Survey graphic index sheets are available in SAILIS. (See SAILIS)

SURVEYOR GENERAL – The official charged by the Survey Act with certain responsibilities under that act.

SURVEY PLAN – Plan showing survey marks and certified correct by a licensed surveyor.

SURVEY PLAN IMAGE  – Survey Plan Images contain scanned images of survey plans. These plans show the boundary measurements of properties as well as other information used by surveyors.

SURVIVORSHIP – Upon the death of one joint tenant, the remaining interest in the land is transmitted to the surviving joint tenant(s).
For example, if A and B own land as joint tenants and A dies, then B will become the sole registered proprietor.
Unless ‘shares’ are shown on the certificate of title, the ownership is joint tenancy and survivorship will apply.

Designed by Rayantaban