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Estate Agents phrasebook

Thu 12 Apr 2018

Estate Agents phrasebook

 Buying or selling a house can sometimes feel overwhelming and it all seems to be done in a different language. We have put together a handy phrasebook to help you navigate your way through the process.

Mortgage Arrangement fees

These are fees charged by a mortgage lender or broker to arrange a loan.

Base rate

The rate of interest which the Bank of England charges for lending to other banks.

Building inspection/Structural survey

A report on the physical condition of a property. The surveyor will look at all accessible parts of the property and give a written report on defects or issues affecting it.

Capital

Capital, also known as equity, is an asset that is less liquid than cash. It represents the amount of money you have put into a property.

Chain

A chain is formed when several property sales and purchases are inter-dependent.

Completion

The point at which the sale of the property is concluded and the buyer receives the keys.

Completion statement

A document which your solicitor or conveyancer will provide as a record of all the financial transactions and costs.

Conveyancer

A representative, solicitor or licensed conveyancer, who deals with the legal aspects of buying or selling a property.

Covenants

Rules governing the property in its title deeds or lease.

Deposit

When buying: The amount of money paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts.

Disbursements

The items in addition to legal fees in conveyancing. These may include Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, search fees, mortgage redemption costs and any other expenses.

Draft contract

The initial version of the contract. This may be amended during the course of the sale but becomes final at the point of exchange of contracts.

Easement

A right that affects a property – such as the right of neighbours to pass over an access path or the right of the water company to have their pipes and drains running under the property.

Enquiries

Questions which are raised by the buyer’s conveyancer, often about survey or property information forms.

EPC

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property.

Exchange of contracts

The buyer and seller both sign the contract for sale and at a certain time and date, the conveyancers action the exchange. At this point, the sale is binding.

Fixtures and fittings

The seller will complete a fixtures and fittings form that will confirm what is included in the sale, what isn’t included.

Gazumping

Where a sale is agreed to a buyer at a certain price and then the seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer. Note that until contracts are exchanged estate agents are bound by law to tell a seller about any offer they receive for a property.

Gazundering

Where a buyer reduces their offer just at the point of exchanging contracts.

HomeBuyer Survey

A report designed in a standard and easily read format that tells a buyer about the physical condition of a property. Lists defects and grades their seriousness and need for attention.

Land Registry

A government office which is responsible for holding records of land ownership and any charges, including mortgages, against the property.

Land Registry fee

A fee charged by the Land Registry to record the change of ownership of a property.

Local authority search

A buyer’s conveyancer makes a formal enquiry to the local authority to find out if there are any matters affecting the property that is being purchased.

Mortgage valuation

The mortgage valuation is carried out by a surveyor acting on behalf of a lender to provide them with a professional report stating the value of the property.

Purchaser

The person buying a property.

Searches

These are conducted by your lawyer to check if there is anything that might affect the current or future value of the property. It is compulsory to have a local authority search before exchanging contracts.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

The tax paid to the government by the purchaser of a property.

Transfer document

The final legally binding document that transfers the property and all its rights from the seller to the buyer.

Under offer

A property becomes “under offer” when a seller accepts an offer from a buyer and the legal processes of the transaction begin.

market appraisal

A term often used by estate agents to cover the process of them giving an opinion of the market value of a property.

Vendor

The person selling a property.

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Ms Traynor

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