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A-Z Estate Agent Jargon Buster

Selling and buying a home can feel confusing enough without estate agents throwing around terms which you may never have heard of. In this post we have compiled an Estate agent jargon buster with a list of words you may hear during the buying or selling process.

Acceptance

Acceptance is agreeing an offer.

Agreement in principle

This is provided by a mortgage lender and confirms that they are prepared to lend the potential buyer the funds to complete a purchase, subject to the approval of the property.

Appraisal

An appraisal is an unbiased estimate of a property’s fair market value by a third-party professional.

Asking price

The asking price is the figure the property is marketed at.

Buyer

A person looking to buy a property.

Chain

A chain is a sequence of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase.

Completion

When the sale transaction Is settled, and keys can be handed over.

Closing Date

The closing date is a day and time set by the seller on which all parties interested in buying the property should send their offers. It works like a blind auction; the buyers submit their bids without any knowledge of the details of the competing offers.

Conveyancing

The legal process of transferring property ownership from one party to another

Deeds

Also known as Title Deeds. The legal documents that prove ownership of a property or land.

Deposit

The money you’ll need to pay upfront to secure a mortgage to buy a home – deposits are usually 10% of a home’s value, but this may vary.

EPC

Short for Energy Performance Certificate. It displays the energy efficiency of a property and its environmental impact with a scale of A-G (A being the most efficient). An EPC is essential to have before marketing a property and is one of three parts of a home report in Scotland.

Fixed Price

A fixed price is a price set by the seller that is not subject to negotiation.

Fixed-rate mortgage

A mortgage deal that comes with a predetermined interest rate for a defined period, usually two, three, or five years.

Guarantor

A guarantor is a financial term describing an individual who promises to pay a borrower’s debt in the event that the borrower defaults on their loan.

Home Report

Home reports make the process of buying a new home more transparent by removing much of the uncertainty on what price to bid and accept, a home report includes a property questionnaire, single survey and EPC and is prepared by a charted surveyor.

Instruction

An instruction is when a seller signs a contract to list with an estate agent.

Negative equity

Where the sale value of a property is less than the amount outstanding on a mortgage.

Missives

Missives are a series of letters between solicitors on behalf of their clients which constitute the contract for the sale of property from the seller to the buyer.

Property Questionnaire

A property questionnaire is part of the home report that is either completed by the seller or the agent marketing the property. It contains useful information such as how long the person has lived there, the council tax band of the property, who services the property, and any work that has been done.

Seller

The person selling the property.

Single Survey

A single survey is the first document enclosed in a home report. The purpose of a single survey is to provide potential buyers with clear information about the condition and value of your home before you market it for sale. The survey will also give buyers detailed information about the condition and value of your property before they decide to make an offer.

STCM

A term used in Scotland that is short for a property sold is ‘Subject to Conclusion of Missives’. This means an offer has been accepted but no formal contract has been agreed yet

Under Offer

When a property is listed or referred to as ‘under offer’ it means an offer has been accepted on the property and the conveyancing and conclusion of missives are set to take place

Valuation

A property valuation is an assessment of your property’s value, based on the location, condition and multiple other factors.

Vendor

Another term used to describe the person selling the property.

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