Auction – the sale of a property to the highest bidder.
Completion Date – the date when a property is transferred to the buyer when the balance of the purchase price is handed over to the seller’s solicitor and the seller must vacate the property.
Conditions of sale – details that determine the rights and duties of the buyer and the seller.
Contract – a legally binding agreement between the parties which sets out the terms of the sale, and once signed completes the transaction.
Conveyancer – a qualified individual such as a lawyer or conveyancer who deals with the legal aspects of buying and/or selling a property.
Conveyancing – term given to the legal process of buying and/or selling property.
Covenants – obligations and restrictions relating to a property.
Dilapidations – any disrepair or damage to a rented property.
Disbursements – fees paid by the lawyer on a purchaser/vendor’s behalf such as Transfer Tax, Land Registry Fees, Notary fees, search fees etc.
Discharge – paying off a mortgage.
Draft Contract – preliminary, unconfirmed version of the contract, usually drawn up by the seller’s solicitor and sent to the buyer’s solicitor for approval.
Energy Certificate - Indicates how energy efficient a home is. The Certificate is issued by the vendors’ chosen engineer and forms an integral part of the final contracs.
Freehold – term referring to the ownership of the property and the ground on which it is built, without the limitation of time.
Gazundering – usually occurs on the day of contract and is when a buyer re-offers at a lower purchase figure than is agreed on the contract, in order to force the purchase price down.
Lease – a legal document by which the freeholder or landlord of a property lets the premises – or part of it – to another party for a specific length of time, after which point ownership may revert to the freeholder or superior leaseholder.
Leasehold – denotes that tenure of a property is by way of a lease.
Listed Building – a building registered as being as of specific architectural or historic importance, which cannot be demolished nor have its external and in some listings, interiors altered without special permission from the local Listed Buildings Officer and possibly English Heritage.
Local Authority Search – an investigation undertaken by a purchasing lawyer, whereby a search of local authority and other agencies is carried out in order to identify any circumstances which may ultimately affect the sale.
Mortgage – a sum of money advanced by a lender, usually a bank or building society, to assist in the purchase of a property. The loan is secured against the property and is usually taken out over a number of years.
Mortgage Deed – a legal document relating to the mortgage lender’s financial interest in the property and containing the terms by which the loan has been agreed.
Mortgage Offer – a formal document drawn up by a mortgage lender detailing the terms by which the loan is agreed.
Mortgage Term – the period of time over which mortgage repayments are made.
Notary Public - The professional who ultimately draws up the contracts for the transaction, and is responsible for the legality of any documentation, and registration of the contracts with the relevant govt departments
Preliminary Enquiries – initial questions about an agreed property sale, raised by a purchasing lawyer on behalf of his client, asked of the seller’s lawyer, which the seller must answer.
Property Information Form – form that is completed by the seller giving answers to questions raised on the buyer’s behalf.
Premium Lease – lump sum paid up front as rental payment for a property, rather than staged payments throughout the term of the rental period.
Retention – a sum of money held back by the mortgage company until such time as repairs or remedial works are satisfactorily carried out to the property they have loaned on.
Subject to Contract – words used to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.
Surveyor (Chartered) – professionally qualified expert who carries out property inspections.
Tenancy Agreement – legal agreement designed to protect the rights of both tenant and landlord setting out the terms under which the rental of a property has been agreed.
Tenant – the person who has temporary use and possession of a property owned by another person, the landlord. The duration and terms of a tenancy are usually fixed by a lease or tenancy agreement.
Tenure – describes the manner in which the property is held by the owner i.e. either Freehold or Leasehold.
Title Deeds – documents evidencing ownership and extent of a property, also sets out any rights or obligations that affect the property, also show whether there are any mortgages on the property. Title Deeds will be held by the mortgage lender until such time as the mortgage has been redeemed.
Transfer Tax – A tax paid direct to the govt, by the purchaser, based on the contract value of the transaction
Transfer Deed – The document that transfers the ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer. The Land Registry will require this document before the change of ownership can be recorded.
Vendor – term used to describe the owner of a property which is being sold.