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Property 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 a list of words which you may hear during the buying or selling process. We hope these will prevent any confusion and make your experience a little easier.

 

Appraisal – An estimate of a property’s value carried typically carried out by Estate Agents.

Buyer A person looking to buy a property

Closing Date – In Scotland a closing date and time can be set on a property by the seller’s agent. When this happens, those interested in the property must have their solicitor submit their best offer before the closing date ends. Those submitting the offers do not know what anyone else has offered.

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

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

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 – In Scotland properties can be marketed at a ‘fixed price’ which means the seller is looking for the amount set on the advertisement. Typically it is assumed that the seller will accept an offer of the full asking price but the seller is within their rights to refuse an offer.

Freehold – If you own the freehold, you own the building and ground it sits on outright.

Home Report – Home reports are a legal requirement in Scotland and consist of three parts relating to the property: the energy performance certificate, the single survey and the property questionnaire. It is essential to commission a home report before marketing a property.

Instruction – An instruction is when the seller lets the estate agent know that they want them to market the property.

Leasehold – A leasehold is when you own the property but not the land that it is build on. A lease normally lasts for a certain amount of years and once it is up it is returned to the landlord or freeholder. Typically, you will be charged rent when in a leasehold agreement.

Missives – In Scotland, missives are terms and conditions exchanged between buyer and seller via their solicitors. Missives need to be agreed upon before conveyancing can take place. Missives can include terms such as the date of entry, the price and any other requirements such as surveys.

Note of Interest – In Scotland if a person is interested in a property, they should notify their solicitor so they can submit a note of interest in the property. This lets the agents know you are interested and if a closing date is set, those who have noted interest should be informed so they can submit their best offer. A note of interest is not legally binding and the seller is within their rights to sell to someone else.

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 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 carried out by a qualified chartered surveyor and is part of a home report. The single survey will disclose information about the property such as the year built, the condition of each room, the type of heating installed etc. In order to sell your home, you need to have a survey carried out on the property beforehand.

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

Tenure – A tenure is the conditions on which ownership of a property is held (ie. freehold or leasehold).

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 is set to take place.

Valuation – A valuation is another word for appraisal. It is an estimate on a value of a property based on local house prices, condition of the building and where it is situated.

Vendor – Another term used to describe the person selling the property. 

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