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Property Jargon Buster – Common Sales Terms

Purchasing or selling a property can be very confusing at times especially with all the property related jargon that you may come across. Below we have gathered an A-Z of common property jargon we estate agents use on a daily basis. Should you require any advice on purchasing or even selling a property then please do not hesitate to get in contact with us on 01454 316718.

A

Applicant

The person or party applying for a property to buy or let.

Appraised Value

The assessed value of a property as estimated by a valuer or surveyor.

Auction

An auction is a process of selling a property to the highest bidder.

B

Buy to Let

This is where a property has been purchased with sole purpose of letting to a tenant.

Buildings Insurance

Buildings insurance will cover or replace any damage that might occur to the property.

C

Capital

The amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property. Also known as equity.

Chain

The situation that occurs when a buyer is reliant upon completion of the sale of their existing property in order to complete the purchase of the new property.

Commission

The estate agents fees for selling a property

Completion Date

The completion date is the day on which money is transferred from the buyer’s to the seller’s solicitor. It is the date that the buyer becomes the legal owner of the new property.

Contents insurance

Contents insurances will cover the cost of repair or replacement of items such as Electrical goods, carpets, furniture or curtains.

Conveyancer

A qualified individual such as a solicitor or licensed conveyancer who deals with the legal aspects of buying or selling a property.

D

Deeds

Legal title documents demonstrating ownership of the property.

Deposit

Money paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts during the conveyancing.

Deflation

A situation in which prices are falling (the opposite situation to inflation).

Development

A recently refurbished and modernised property or a newly built residence.

Detached

A detached house is a ‘free-standing’ residential house which does not share any walls with another property.

E

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC is a graph which measures the energy efficiency and environmental impact of a property using the scale of A-G. This is a legal requirement commissioned before a property can be marketed.

Equity

The amount of money either put into buying a property or the deposit placed on a property which exceeds the amount of any money borrowed against the property. Also known as capital.

Exchange of contracts

This point at which signed contracts are physically exchanged, legally binding the seller and buyer to the property at the agreed price.

F

Fixtures and fittings

All non-structural items included in the purchase of a property.

Flying Freehold

In some circumstances, because of the layout of a property, it may ‘overhang’ another freehold property. If this is the case then the property is deemed to have a ‘flying freehold’.

Freehold

Whether the owner of the property also owns the land on which it is built.

Gazumping

When a seller accepts a higher offer from a third party on a property that they have already agreed to sell to someone else prior to exchange of contracts.

Gazundering

When a buyer reduces their agreed offer prior to exchange of contracts.

Ground rent

The annual charge levied by the freeholder to the leaseholder of a property.

H

Home Buyer Surveyor (Report)

More in-depth report than a valuation that looks at the condition of the property.

I

Inflation

The general rise in prices over time.

L

Land registration

The process of registering the legal title of an area of land with the land registry, typically handled by a solicitor.

Lease

A legal document outlining details of how the freehold or leasehold owner of a property let the premises for a specific length of time, after which the ownership may revert to the freeholder or the superior leaseholder.

Leasehold

Denotes that ownership of a property and/or buildings is by way of a lease agreement.

M

Maisonette

A self-contained apartment (usually on two floors) in a larger house with its own entrance from the outside

Multi-agent

When a seller chooses to use more than one agent to sell their property.

O

Offer

A sum of money that the buyer offers to pay for a property.

S

SMS

SMS is an abbreviation for Short Message Service. Commonly known as text messages.

Semi-detached

A property which is joined to one other property.

Share of freehold

Where the freehold on which the property stands is owned ­by a limited company and the shareholders of that limited company are the owners of the property.

Sole agent

When a seller chooses only one agent to sell their property.

Sole occupancy

A property that is occupied only by the mortgage applicant(s) and their direct family.

Solicitor

A legal expert handling all legal documentation for the sale or purchase of a property.

Stamp duty

A government tax paid by the buyer of a property. These values range from 0% and 5% depending on the value of the property. This currently only applies to properties in excess of £125,000.

Structural survey

A detailed inspection of the property which reports on the general structural condition.

Subject to contract

The vendor has accepted an offer from a potential purchaser but legal documents have not yet been completed. Technically the property is still available until exchange of contracts.

Surveyor

A professional person qualified to estimate the value and condition of land and property.

T

Tenure

Conditions on which a property is held (i.e. the length of lease).

Terraced house

A property that forms part of a connected row of houses.

The Property Ombudsman (TPO)

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is a free, fair and independent arbitration service which provides sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants with an assurance that they will receive the highest level of customer service.

Title deeds

Documents showing the legal ownership of a property.

Transfer deeds

The Land Registry document that transfers legal ownership from seller to buyer.

U

Under offer

The status of a property for sale when a seller has accepted an offer from a buyer, prior to exchange of contracts.

V

Valuation

A basic survey to find out the estimated value of a property.

Vendor

The person selling a property.

Y

Yield

Income from a property calculated as a percentage of its value.

About The Author

Everyone at Edison Ford works as a team to bring you this content. The content is either written by Kieran or Peter and the advice included in our guides comes from our own experiences and research collectively. We hope you find our content insightful and if you have any suggestions, then please feel free to email Peter. You can read more about everyone here.

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