Glossary of Estate Agent Terms, Woods Homes in Devon

A guide to some of the terms used in the property market

CHAIN
A number of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the rest of the linked purchases. A chain will often have a first time buyer or cash buyer at one end and possibly an empty property at the top of the chain.
CHAIN FREE
This is when the owner of the property does not need to sell the property in order to buy another, it is therefore offered as chain free.
COMPLETION
The date that the purchaser & seller complete the sale of land or property. The purchaser pays the balance of the purchase price & the seller hands over possession to the purchaser.
COMPLETION STATEMENT
A statement from the solicitor detailing all financial transactions, including all costs.
CONDITIONS OF SALE
The terms by which the buyer and seller agree to sell/buy the property. The Law Society sets standard conditions. The lawyer sets special conditions.
CONTRACT
This legally binding agreement specifies details of the house sale or purchase. The contract legally commits both the buyer and the seller to the transaction. The house seller’s conveyancing lawyer draws up two copies of the same contract and each of the parties sign their own copy. When both parties are ready to legally commit, the two contracts are exchanged.
CONVEYANCER
The property lawyer who manages all the legal matters arising from the sale of a house or the purchase of a house. Note: This may be either a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.
CONVEYANCE OR TRANSFER
The legally binding document that transfers the rights, burdens and the benefit of the land.
DISBURSEMENTS
Out-of-pocket expenses paid by the solicitor/licensed conveyancer on the buyer’s behalf, such as stamp duty, land registry charges and search fees.
EASEMENTS
A right given to the house owner over an adjoining property (e.g. right of way).
EPC : Energy Performance Certificate
An energy survey needed to produce an EPC is carried out by a trained inspector who visits the property, inspecting key items such as loft insulation, windows, domestic boiler, hot water tank, radiators, and so on. They will then calculate an energy rating which must be displayed when we market the property. We can recommend a local EPC inspector.
EQUITY
This is what you actually own and is the difference between the market value of your property and the amount of any outstanding mortgage you owe to your lender.
EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
The point at which the seller and purchaser exchange binding contracts usually with the payment of a deposit, whilst at the same time committing to a completion date.
FIXTURES & FITTINGS
A list of the items at the property, which are either included or excluded from the agreed price.Non removable items within the property.
FREEHOLD
Complete ownership of a property which includes the land it is built upon.
GAZUMPING
When the house seller accepts a higher price offer from another house buyer having already accepted a previous offer.
GROUND RENT
The money paid to the freeholder by the leaseholder. This is usually paid annually.
LAND REGISTRY
A government office that stores records of land ownership and any charges, like a mortgage.
LEASEHOLD
To be given ownership of a property but not the land it is built on. This normally requires payment of ground rent to the landlord. A leasehold is normally offered for either 999 years, 99 years or shorter terms. There will be a Landlord who will own the freehold. This usually relates to a flat or apartment.
OIRO
Offers In the Region Of.
OIEO
Offers In Excess Of.
PERIODS
The dates of the periods do vary in different publications. The following are commonly accepted:

Queen Anne – 1702-1714

Georgian – 1714-1830

Victorian – 1837-1901

Edwardian – 1901-1910

REDEMPTION FEE
An Early Repayment Charge which can be charged by your existing mortgage lender if you pay off your mortgage early or you move to a different mortgage.
REDEMPTION FIGURE
The amount needed to settle your existing mortgage loan on completion of your sale.
SEARCHES
A method of checking matters that may affect the value of the property such as a Local Authority Search which covers items such as road maintenance and planning applications.
SERVICE CHARGE
The charge made by the managing agent or landlord of a property. These charges vary and can be substantial. The charges may cover insurance, water, heating and the maintenance of lifts and the common areas of the building.
SHARE OF FREEHOLD
The flats within a building are owned on a leasehold basis – meaning that the leaseholders still have obligations not to change the character of the building etc – but the freehold is divided between the flat-owners.
STAMP DUTY
Government tax levied on the purchaser of a property and calculated as a percentage of the purchase price
SURVEY
A report produced by a building surveyor for the purpose of determining the value of the property and if it is structurally sound.
SUBJECT TO CONTRACT
A provisional agreement between the house buyer and the house seller that is not legally binding.
TITLE
The ultimate record of ownership of a property, the evidence of which is found in the title deeds
TRANSFER DOCUMENT
The final document that transfers the property from the house seller to the house buyer.
VALUATION SURVEY
A survey to allow a property value to be determined for mortgage purposes. This should not to be confused with a structural survey.
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