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Buy & Sell Jargon Buster A - F

A - F


G - L


M - Q


R - Z



APR - Annual Percentage Rate- the true cost of a loan.

AST - Assured shorthold tenancy agreement- the most common form of tenancy agreement for renting a residential property.

Auction - A sale of goods or property at which intending buyers bid against one another for individual items.


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.

Building Preservation Order - Act of Parliament passed in 1990 to protect buildings of special architectural or historic interest from demolition or alterations that would affect their interest.

Building Survey and Valuation - A detailed inspection suitable for large or older type buildings.

Buildings Survey - This is a technical report following an inspection of the property. It will give you a comprehensive account of the condition of the property, describing any structural or other defects. See also: Surveys.

Building Warranty - The insurance policy which underwrites the standards to which new build properties have been built. Usually 10 years from completion of the construction.

Built In - Designed or fitted as a fixed or permanent part. Example: Built in wardrobe.

Buy to Let - A purchase made by an investor in order to subsequently let the property for a return on the investment.

Buy to Let Mortgage - A type of mortgage designed for private individuals to invest in property to let. A large number of mortgage lenders now offer Buy To Let mortgages and take into account the rental income likely to be achieved.


Capital Appreciation - Growth or gain in the value of a property or asset over time. Added to income. This contributes to the overall or total return on a property or financial investment.

Caveat Emptor - "Let the buyer beware." The buyer is responsible for making sure that a purchase is of reasonable quality - the onus is upon the buyer to discover, not on the seller to disclose.

Cavity Wall - An external wall of a building that is made up of two leaves of masonry, bricks or blocks separated by a cavity.

Chain - A number of linked property transactions where exchange of contracts must take place simultaneously.

Commission - Fee paid by the seller to their estate agent, usually following exchange of contracts.

Completion - The date when the purchaser and vendor complete the sale of land or property. The purchaser pays the balance of the purchase price and the vendor gives possession to the purchaser.

Contract - The formal document which details all the terms of sale. The contract is prepared by the vendor's solicitor and a copy is sent to the purchaser.

Conversions - The sub-division of residential properties into bedsits, self-contained flats or maisonettes.

Conveyancer - Person other than a solicitor who may conduct the conveyancing process.

Conveyancing - The legal work involved in buying and selling properties.

Consumer Code For House Builders - The mandatory Consumer Code which House Builders are required to follow.

Covenant - A condition, contained within the Title Deeds or lease that the buyer must comply with. This is usually applied to all future owners of the property. A restrictive covenant is one that prohibits the owner from doing something.


Deed - The legal documents relating to property. These will include all matters which relate to the property since it was built.

Deposit - The money you pay on exchange of contracts as part of your initial contribution to the purchase of your home.

Disbursements - The fees paid by your solicitor, such as Stamp Duty, Land Registry and search fees on top of conveyancing.

Draft contract - Unconfirmed version of the contract.

Draft Transfer - A legal document issued by the vendor's solicitor to the purchaser's solicitor setting out the terms and conditions of sale.


Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) - These are needed whenever a property is built, sold or rented. If you’re selling or renting your home, you must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you market your property. In Scotland, you must display the EPC somewhere in the property - eg in the meter cupboard or next to the boiler. An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and it is valid for 10 years.

Equity - The difference between what is owed by way of mortgage on a property and the value of the property.

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.

Exchange Deadline - Normally applicable to new build property; the point at which the developer has the right to remarket the property after agreeing the sale, subject to contract. This deadline is normally 21-28 days following receipt of draft papers by the purchaser’s solicitor.


Fixtures and Fittings - Non removable items within the property. These are items that permanently fixed in position. e.g. the bath, toilet, doors and radiators.

Freehold - Legal ownership of land. A freehold interest in property means absolute ownership, although technically all land is held from the Crown.

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