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Buying off the plan - All the terms you need to know

October 31, 2020

Off plan is a unique way of buying a property, so there are some unique terms used. Here’s what they mean.

Display Suite

Because you’re buying something you can’t see, developers create a space that buyers can visit and obtain information. It can be anything from a shipping container with pictures on the wall, to a fully finished townhouse you can walk through. Treat it like an information centre where you can get specific information about the development, particular unit or level.

Plan Book vs Brochure

A plan book is a collection of information on a project from top to bottom. It will include a summary of the developer and builder, unit floor plans and plans of the common areas and car parks. A brochure is more about the feeling and the imagery around the marketing. It’s often the first piece of information you get about your purchase.


This is a computer generated image of the development. It’s designed to help buyers visualise what they’re getting. It’s so realistic that it can look like a photograph, but it shows you something that doesn’t yet exist.

Colour board

This is a collection of finishes and inclusions. It generally includes examples of floor tiles, carpet, cupboard doors, tapware and other finishes. Most developments have three colour scheme options. You can choose between the three, and your choice will become part of the sale contract.

Inclusions list

This list will usually be in the plan book. It will set down the general inclusions to your unit’s floor plan, for example if it includes a balcony. It also lists inclusions within the unit, including flooring, appliances and lighting.

Optional upgrades

When you buy off the plan, your colour scheme will usually determine your finishes. However, you can upgrade things for an additional cost.

Common examples include:

  • Pendant lighting
  • Underfloor heating
  • Higher end appliances and tapware
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