Glossary for selling and buying

Here is the glossary for selling buying property:

AdvanceMortgage Loan.
AuctionThe sale of a property to the highest bidder.
APRCAnnual Percentage Rate of Charge, total cost of the credit to the consumer, expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount of credit, including  interest and other charges applying. 
Balance OutstandingThe amount of loan owed at a particular time
Bridging LoanA temporary loan advanced to help buy a new property before the existing one has been sold.
Buildings InsuranceInsurance against the cost of repair or rebuilding a property from scratch following structural damage, for example by flood, fire or storm.
ChainA number of linked property sales where exchange of contracts must take place simultaneously.
Closing DateThe date set for submission of offers when more than one party show interest in the property.
Completion DateCompletion of the legal transaction with all monies and documents having been distributed. This is also when the seller’s solicitor will instruct the estate agent to release the keys.
ConclusionSee under ‘Subject to contracts exchanged’
Contents InsuranceInsurance against accidental damage or theft of all moveable contents, including furniture, appliances and soft furnishings.
ContractA formal agreement between the buyer and the seller, usually prepared by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, detailing the terms and conditions of the sale.
ConveyancerPerson other than a solicitor who may conduct the conveyancing.
ConveyancingThe legal work involved in buying and selling properties.
Council TaxLevied by local councils to cover the cost of local amenities and services.
CovenantA condition, contained within the Title Deeds or lease, that the buyer must comply with, which is usually applied to all future owners of the property. A restrictive covenant is one that prohibits the owner from doing something.
DeedsLegal documents assigning ownership of a property and/or land.
DepositSum of money that represents the personal capital that the buyer is putting toward the purchase of the property.
DisbursementsFees, such as Stamp Duty, Land Registry and search fees on top of conveyancing which you normally pay via your solicitor.
Draft ContractUnconfirmed version of the contract.
Early Repayment ChargeA charge made by the lender if the borrower terminates a mortgage in advance of the terms of the particular mortgage. Normally occurs when the borrower has benefited from reduced payments or cash back in the early period of a mortgage.
Exchange of ContractsThe point at which the sale becomes legally binding from which neither party can withdraw without financial penalties – In Scotland see ‘Missives Concluded’.
EquityThe difference between the value of a property and the amount of mortgage owed.
FIMBRAFinancial Intermediaries Managers & Brokers Regulatory Authority.
Fixed PriceOffers are invited at the price shown
Fixtures and FittingsAll non-structural items included in the purchase of a property
FreeholdOwnership of the property and land upon which the property is situated.
Full Structural SurveyA full structural survey looks at all the main features of the property, including walls, roof, foundations, plumbing, joinery, electrical wiring, drains, and garden.
GazumpingThe practice by a seller accepting a higher price than that previously agreed with someone else.
GazunderingThe practice by a buyer lowering his offer just before exchange of contracts.
Ground rentThe annual fee which a leaseholder pays to a freeholder.
Home Buyers ReportThe homebuyer’s report comments on the structural condition of most parts of the property that are readily accessible, but does not involve in-depth investigation or the testing of water, drainage or heating systems.
Housing AssociationA non-profit making body which lets you buy a percentage of the property and pay rent on the rest.
IFAIndependent Financial Advisor
IMROInvestments Managers Regulatory Organisation. Regulates investment managers
InstructionWhen a seller instructs an estate agent to market a property.
Joint AgencyWhere two estate agents work together to market a property.
Joint MortgageA mortgage where there is more than one individual named responsible for the mortgage.
Land CertificateA Land Registry certificate proving ownership of property.
Land RegistryThe Government organisation that holds records of all registered properties in England and Wales.
LAUTROLife Assurance Unit Trust Regulatory Organisation.
LeaseholdTo be given ownership of a property but not the land it is built on. This normally requires payment of ground rent to the landlord. A leasehold is normally offered for either 999 years, 99 years or shorter terms.
Local Authority SearchAn application made to the appropriate Local Authority requesting details of any planning or other matters which might affect the property being sold.
Maintenance ChargeA charge made towards the upkeep of a leasehold property.
Missives ConcludedScotland only. The solicitors must agree on the written negotiations of the sale – the ‘missives’. This can only be done once a mortgage offer is received. When the missives are agreed, this is known as ‘conclusion of missives’. Both parties are now legally bound to the sale/purchase.
Mortgage DeedA legal document relating to the mortgage lenders interest in the property.
Mortgage OfferA formal written offer made by a bank or building society to lend an approved amount to purchase a property.
Multi-AgencyThe selection of two or more estate agents to act on the seller’s behalf, usually incurring a higher fee than if the sale is completed by a sole agency.
Negative EquityWhen the value of a property is less than the outstanding sum owed on a mortgage.
OfferA bid made by a prospective buyer, this is not legally binding.
Offers OverOffers are invited above the price shown.
OmbudsmanIndependent professional bodies who investigate complaints on behalf of customers against estate agents, solicitors and insurance companies.
Part-possessionThe term used when a property is being sold, where a tenant has legal right of occupation.
Private TreatyThe way in which most house sales are completed in England and Wales.
PropertyYour home or the property you wish to sell or buy.
Repayment MortgageYour monthly repayment includes part interest and part capital repayment. So long as you meet all of the payments required by the lender on time, your mortgage will gradually reduce until it is repaid in full at the end of the mortgage term.
RepossessionWhen loans are in default the mortgage lender can repossess the property and sell it so they can repay the debt.
RetentionHolding back part of a mortgage loan until repairs to the property are satisfactorily completed.
Sale AgreedA verbal agreement from the seller.
SearchesChecks of local council records for planning applications and restrictions, etc.
Sole AgencyThe seller chooses a single estate agent to act on their behalf, incurring a lower fee than multi-agency.
SolicitorLegal expert handling all documentation for the sale and purchase of a property.
Stamp DutyA tax paid to the Government by the buyer upon completion.
Subject to Conclusion of MissivesScotland only. Words used to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.
Subject to ContractWords used to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally Binding.
SurveyAn inspection made by a qualified surveyor. There are three main types of survey. Valuation report (for mortgage purposes), Homebuyers report (also comments on general condition) and Full Structural survey (examines structural detail).
TenantsPeople living in a property owned by someone else.
TenderThe process whereby the seller asks for written offers on a property usually with a set closing date. When a property is sold by tender, the buyer pays the fees.
TitleThe ultimate record of ownership of a property, the evidence of which is found in the title deeds.
Transfer DeedsThe Land Registry document that transfers legal ownership from seller to buyer.
Under OfferWhen the seller has accepted an offer on the property but contracts have not yet been exchanged.
Variable Interest RateRate of interest payment that fluctuates over time inline with general interest rates.
VendorThe legal name sometimes used to describe the seller of the property.
Verbal OfferOffer from prospective purchaser, not legally binding on either party.
WritMode of commencing legal proceedings.
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