May 20, 2024


Mad about real estate

A Glossary Of Terms For The Estate Agent

The majority of homeowners are often befuddled when it comes to buying or selling property. This is because it is often a difficult process that requires a level of knowledge to fully understand it. Not only is the process difficult however but understanding exactly what the estate agent is saying is also not easy. This is because the terminology bandied around in estate agent circles is often a language of its own; hopefully the following article will go some of the way to decoding exactly what your estate agent is talking about.

In mortgages the term ‘additional security fee’ is often used. This usually refers to the sum that is paid in order to protect the lender. In some circles it is also called a ‘mortgage indemnity premium’.

The term ‘bridging loan’ is also extensively used in property circles. It refers to the funding that can be given to a home buyer before the money from the sale of their house has come through. For many homeowners these are an essential part of funding a new property.

Almost certainly your estate agent will refer to the ‘chain’, this is not a piece of linked metal outside but instead refers to situation where one buyer needs to sell their house before buying another, often these chains can be rather long extending over a number of different parties. It is labelled as a chain because if one of the links fails often the whole chain will fail.

It is more than likely that your estate agent will mention ‘Conveyancing charges’, these are the payment for any legal fees that are involved with the property process, normally they are payable to solicitors. In addition the term ‘contacts race’ may be used to describe the situation where more than one party is competing for a particular property.

‘Exchange of contracts’ is another large part of estate agent terminology. Normally agents pursue this situation as this is the point where a seller has accepted the offer of a buyer and is willing to put the terms of sale in writing.

Two terms that often confuse homeowners are ‘freehold’ and ‘leasehold’. Your estate agent should be able to explain however that the difference between the two is relatively simple. A freehold is property where the buyer purchases both the property and the land it sits upon, in contrast a leasehold property is only the bricks and mortar, and not the plot it rests upon.

‘Gazumping’ or ‘gazundering’ are both terms used by the estate agent. Both are negative and refer to the tactics of some buyers and sellers. The first refers to the tactic of sellers accepting higher offers after a verbal agreement has been reached with a buyer. The latter refers to buyers attempting to change the price just before the contracts are exchanged.

The ‘structural survey’ is something that should always be carried out before buying a property. Normally it will be performed by a chartered surveyor and attempts to find the any structural problems that could arise during ownership of the property, an example would be subsidence.

The ‘title’ and ‘title deeds’ are vitally important in the property process. It is only after these deeds have been obtained that legal ownership is guaranteed.

It is hoped that this article has been helpful in providing vital information on the terminology used by estate agents. Moving house is a stressful experience; hopefully with a glossary of terms it will be possible to make the process a little bit simpler and easier.