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The 30 Most Popular Property Terms Used in the UK

When it comes to buying or selling a house, there can be a lot to get your head around; lengthy contracts, hard to read paperwork, not to mention the confusing estate agent jargon – what does it all mean?


We’ve pulled together a list of the 30 most popular property terms that we use on a daily basis to help you understand:

1. Vendor – another term for the seller
2. First Time Buyer - a person who has never bought or owned a property before
3. Snagging – where the developer of a new build property or estate touches up small issues, such as paintwork or faults. A snagging survey will be done prior to the buyer moving in to check the quality of appearance and build
4. Deposit – the amount of money put down against the purchase of a house, minus the mortgage
5. Mortgage – a loan taken out to buy a property
6. Completion Date – the date on which the seller must vacate the property and the buyer will get the keys and can move in
7. Freehold – owning the land that the property sits on
8. Leasehold – owning the property, but not the land it is built on, such as a flat
9. Commonhold – an alternative system to leasehold usually in place in multi-occupancy buildings, such as a block of flats, whereby you own the freehold to your property, and all owners collectively help manage the upkeep
10. Guide Price – a property’s price estimation, but offers could be under or over this
11. Searches – this is when the solicitor works with the local authority as part of the buying process to check the land and identify any issues, such as flooding or contaminated land
12. EPC – an energy performance certificate, which is a rating scheme to summarise the energy efficiency of buildings
13. Sold STC (subject to contract) – an offer has been made on the property and that the seller has accepted but has not yet been legally binded by a contract
14. Part Exchange – a property that is taken in as part payment for a new property, usually a new home
15. Interest Rates – a charge added to the amount you pay back on a loan, written as a percentage
16. Agreement in Principle – also known as a Mortgage in Principle, an estimate of how much money you can borrow from a money lender for a mortgage, based on your income and credit history
17. Execution only – when a consumer chooses a mortgage themselves, rather than taking advice from a mortgage advisor
18. Early Repayment Charge – a charge given when a mortgage has been overpaid
19. Loan to Value – the ratio of how much your loan will cover the price of the property
20. Equity – represents the amount of money a homeowner has put into a property. This is built up over time as the owner pays off the mortgage and the market value increases
21. Building Survey – a thorough and expert inspection and report into the condition of the property
22. Solicitor or conveyancer – someone who deals professionally with legal matters, and specialises in the transferring of homeownership
23. Stamp duty – a tax paid to the Government by the buyer upon completion, usually paid on property purchases over £125,000
24. Gazumping – when a higher offer is made by another party and accepted, even if an offer has already been accepted
25. Deeds – legal documents that show who owns the property or land, as well as any obligations, usually held by the mortgage lender until it is paid off
26. Retention – holding back part of a mortgage loan until repairs to the property are satisfactorily completed
27. Standard Variable Rate – the rate your lender charges after the initial mortgage deal finishes
28. Variable Interest Rate – rate of interest payment that fluctuates over time inline with general interest rates
29. Inventory – a list of all the property’s contents, as well as the property’s condition and the state of the structural fixtures
30. Land Certificate – documentation proving property ownership

We hope that this list helps you easily translate the estate agent jargon that is regularly used when buying or selling your property.

If you need any more support, get in touch with our team, or head over to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for more tips and tricks.

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