Baker Wynne & Wilson’s Glossary of Terms

General / January 2021

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Chief Rent

Annual payment made on freehold land to the original freeholder in perpetuity.

4. Commission

Fee paid to your estate agent, usually following exchange of contracts.

5. Conveyancing

Name given to the legal procedure required to transfer ownership of a property from one partner to another.

6. Deeds

Legal documents relating to a property, usually held by the building society or bank if the property is subject to a mortgage.

7. Easement

A property easement is a legal situation in which the title to a specific piece land remains with the landowner, but another person or organization is given the right to use that land for a distinct purpose.

8. 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.

9. Financial Services

Comprehensive guidance is available through an independent financial advisor.

10. 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.

11. Freehold

The freeholder of a property owns it outright, including the land it’s built on. If you buy a freehold, you’re responsible for maintaining your property and land.

12. 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.

13. Ground Rent

Amount paid annually by a leaseholder to a freeholder.

14. 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.

15. 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 an 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.

16. Landlord

The owner of a property being let to a tenant.

17. Lessor

Person responsible for granting a lease – normally the landlord.

18. Mortgage

A mortgage is a way to use one’s real property as a guarantee for a loan to get money. … The debtor or mortgagor is the owner of the property, while the creditor or mortgagee is the owner of the loan. When the mortgage transaction is made, the debtor gets the money with the loan, and promises to pay the loan.

A mortgagor is the person who borrows money to finance the purchase of real estate using the value of the property as collateral for the loan. In simple terms, the person buying a home using a mortgage is known as the mortgagor.

19. Private Treaty

Formal name given to the method by which most estate agents will undertake the sale of residential property – a sale of property on terms determined by conference of the seller and buyer

20. Probate

In England and Wales Probate is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called the assets) of a person who has died.

21. Purchaser

Purchaser(noun) one who purchases; one who acquires property for a consideration, generally of money; a buyer; a vendee. Purchaser(noun) one who acquires an estate in lands by his own act or agreement, or who takes or obtains an estate by any means other than by descent or inheritance.

22. Searches

Procedure undertaken by a solicitor or legal representative during the conveyancing process to establish whether any issues exist which may affect the property which is to be purchased.

23. Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is the tax governments place on legal documents, usually in the transfer of assets or property. Governments impose stamp duties, also known as stamp taxes, on documents that are needed to legally record certain types of transactions.

24. Subject to Contract

The High Court has confirmed that no binding agreement existed between parties who had carried on negotiations and agreed heads of terms on a subject to contract basis.

25. Survey and Valuation

The three main types are:

Prepared for house purchase, mortgage purposes, insurance or probate.
Homebuyer Survey and Valuation
Carried out by a Chartered Surveyor and designed to focus on urgent or significant matters requiring attention.
Building Survey and Valuation
A more detailed inspection suitable for larger or older type buildings.

26. Tenant

Person occupying a property, normally subject to the terms of a lease/tenancy agreed with the landlord.

27. Tender

In the process known as ‘for sale by tender’ and a guide price will be stated . Written offers will be invited and a closing date for such offers published. All offers are normally opened at the same time, sometimes with the vendor’s solicitor present. Generally, the vendor is not committed to accepting the highest or any offer.

28. 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 such as a sitting tenant or tenancy.

29. Valuations

The process of estimating the value of property is known as valuation. There are numerous methods of assessing the value of a property. The process of estimating the value of property is known as valuation. … Here the value of a house is determined by examining the prices of other similar houses in the neighbourhood.

Don’t miss a thing. Stay in the loop