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Glossary of Terms

Term Description
Auction (under the hammer) When a property is sold by Auction the successful bidder will have to sign the contract there and then and pay a 10% deposit with completion to take place 28 days thereafter, when the remainder of the monies will have to be paid in full.
Bridging Loan Temporary finance 'bridging' the period between completion on the purchase of a property and the sale of an existing property, funds from which are intended to finance/part finance the new purchase.
Chief Rent Annual payment made on freehold land to the original freeholder in perpetuity.
Commission Fee paid to your estate agent, usually following exchange of contracts.
Conveyancing Name given to the legal procedure required to transfer ownership of a property from one partner to another.
Deeds Legal documents relating to a property, usually held by the building society or bank if the property is subject to a mortgage.
Easement Right of access for a particular purpose, granted to someone who is not the owner of the land in question.
Exchange of Contracts Point at which vendor and purchaser exchange binding contracts with the payment of a deposit, at the same time agreeing to a completion date.
Financial Services Comprehensive guidance is available through an independent financial advisor.
Fixtures and Fittings Non removable items within the property. These are items that are permanently fixed in position e.g. the bath, toilet, light fittings, doors and radiators.
Freehold Legal ownership of land.
Gazumping Popular term for the situation whereby a vendor has accepted an offer but subsequently goes on to accept a higher one from a different purchaser.
Ground Rent Amount paid annually by a leaseholder to a freeholder.
EPC explained Energy performance certificates (EPCs) give potential buyers an upfront look at how energy efficient your property is, how it can be improved and how much money this could save.

EPCs for homes were first introduced in 2007 as part of home information packs (Hips) for home sellers. Hips were scrapped in 2010, but if you're selling your house you're still legally required to have an EPC in place.

You must have at least commissioned the energy performance certificate when you put your home on the market and can arrange it through your estate agent or directly with an EPC provider.

Home reports, Scotland’s equivalent of Hips, are still required and include an EPC (known as an energy report). They also include a survey and a property questionnaire.

EPCs were also introduced to the rental market in 2008. In most cases, landlords marketing their properties for rent must have an EPC available for prospective tenants to view or risk a fine.
What information does an EPC provide? This document is valid for 10 years and shows how good – or bad – the energy efficiency of your property is. It grades the property’s energy efficiency from A to G, with A being the highest rating.

If you have a brand new home it’s likely to have a high rating. If you have a older home it’s likely to be around D or E.

The energy performance certificate also lists ways to improve the rating - such as installing double glazing or loft, floor or wall insulation.

The theory is that the better the rating your property gets, the more attractive it should be to a tenant as it indicates lower energy bills.
Landlord The owner of a property being let to a tenant.
Lessor Person responsible for granting a lease - normally the landlord.
Mortgage A lender of money, to be secured on the property in question.
Mortgagor Conditional pledging of property, as security for the repayment of a loan.
Private Treaty Formal name given to the method by which most estate agents will undertake the sale of residential property. This term covers the whole range of services normally associated with the sale process, culminating in 'exchange of contracts' and 'completion' between vendor and purchaser.
Probate Legal term applied to the process of proving that a will is valid.
Purchaser The buyer of the property.
Searches Procedure undertaken by a solicitor or legal representative during the conveyancing process to establish whether any issues exist which may adversely affect the property which is to be purchased.
Stamp Duty Stamp Duty Land Tax calculator
Subject to Contract Agreement between vendor and purchaser subject to a contract normally prepared by the vendor's solicitor.
Survey and Valuation The three main types are:

  1. Valuation
    Prepared for house purchase, mortgage purposes, insurance or probate.
  2. Homebuyer Survey and Valuation
    Carried out by a Chartered Surveyor and designed to focus on urgent or significant matters requiring attention.
  3. Building Survey and Valuation
    A more detailed inspection suitable for larger or older type buildings.
Tenant Person occupying a property, normally subject to the terms of a lease agreed with the landlord.
Tender In the process known as 'for sale by tender' the asking price will not be stated. Instead, written offers will be invited and a closing date for such offers published. All offers are normally opened at the same time, usually with the vendor's solicitor present. Generally, the vendor is not committed to accepting the highest or any offer.
Vacant Possession A well used estate agency phrase which means that the property being offered will be vacant upon completion for the sale. The property is therefore being offered from any such encumbrances as a sitting tenant of service tenancy.
Valuations We can provide valuations for banks, building societies, and insurance companies as well as for personal probate, matrimonial and tax related matters.

All information and specifications supplied within this page are correct at the time of publishing.