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Glossary of terms

You have decided to buy your first property. You contact a reputable local agent and then you are bombarded with a load of terms that you have never heard of and suddenly the agent is practically speaking another language!

Granted there are terms that you probably have heard before such as vendor and chain. But there will be others that make no sense….Gazumping! Gazundering!!! These are not even made up! This week I have put down all the important terms and a brief description to help you along the way. If I have missed anything then let us know and we will answer as best as we can.


An applicant is a potential purchaser/lessee looking for a property.


Same as a Market Report or Valuation. This is where an agent will visit your property and give a value.

Bridging Loan:

A temporary loan given to help purchase a property before the existing one has sold.

Buy To Let:

The purchase of a property to be used only as an investment property.


A number of property sales that must happen at the same time as they are linked together.

Chain Free:

The purchaser is not dependant on the sale of a property to purchase.

Completion Date:

The completion of the legal transaction, with all money and contracts distributed, and keys are released.

Contents Insurance:

Covers accidental damage and theft of all movable objects in the property.


The formal agreement behind the vendors and purchaser, prepared by a lawyer, detailing the terms and conditions of the sale.


The legal work behind buying and selling properties.


The legal documents that assign ownership of the property.


This is a document (usually prepared by the agent) that details all of the fixtures and fittings (non structural items) that are included in the purchase of the property.


When the seller accepts one offer only to reject it later in order to accept another offer over the asking price.


Where the purchaser reduces their offer just before completion.


A person who agrees to repay a loan or debt if you cannot repay it.


Policy or cover to protect against mortgage payment defaulting (Mortgage Indemnity Guarantee) or covering a defect within this property (House Indemnity Insurance).


When the vendor instructs an agent to sell their property.

Joint Sole Agency:

Where two estate agents work together on marketing a property.


The potential tenant of a rental property.


The landlord of a rental property

LTV (Loan to Value):

The percentage of the loan amount in relation to the purchase value of the property.

Maintenance/Service Charge:

A regular payment towards the upkeep of shared/communal areas including parking, gardens and lifts.

Multi Agency:

When you appoint multiple agents to sell your property

Negative Equity:

Where the value of the property is less than the mortgage owed on the property.


When you make an offer on a property, this is a bid indicating the price you would like to pay for the property.


When you fail to repay your mortgage then the lender can repossess your property and sell it to refund the money that it lent.

Stamp Duty:

The government tax paid by the purchaser on completion of the sale.

Sole Agency:

When you appoint one agent to sell your property.

Subject to Contract:

A term associated with an agreement to purchase a property before the exchange of contracts.


An inspection of the property carried out by a qualified surveyor. This can be a valuation report, homebuyers report or full structural survey. They are performed on behalf of the lender.


The legal rights to ownership of a property.

Under Offer:

Where the seller has accepted an offer from a purchaser but contracts are yet to be exchanged.


A vendor is the owner of the property.

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