Definitions Of Estate Agency Jargon
Have you ever wondered what some of the terms mean when used by estate agents, mortgage lenders or a conveyancer/solicitor when buying or selling a property? Here is a simple guide to help you through the jargon.
Completion Date – This is the day that all the money both your deposit and mortgage funds would go from the buyer’s solicitor to the vendor’s solicitor. Once this is confirmed to have arrived with the vendor’s solicitor the property has officially completed.Covenants
Covenants – These are restrictions and/or obligations that the property may have attached to it.
Conveyancing – The term that is given to the legal process of buying/selling a property.
Deposit – Is an agreed upon amount that is paid by the buyer to their solicitor in order to exchange. This amount is also forfeit by the buyer if they do not proceed with the sale after exchange. It is worth noting that it is the agreed amount that is forfeit not the paid amount as this can differ.
Draft Contracts – These are a collection of documents that contain the fixtures and fittings, title deed and information on the sale. For example sale price.
Enquires – These are questions that are raised by the buyers solicitor regarding the sale of the property. Additional enquiries can be raised from the answers given from enquiries or later in the sale.
Exchange Of Contracts – Once contracts have exchanged the offer is legally binding and at this point the deposit is also usually paid to the vendor’s solicitor.
Fixtures And Fittings – This is a document filled out by the vendor identifying all the items that will be staying in the property once it has completed.
Freehold – A freehold property/land means that all the land in that border going to the centre of the earth to the sky is owned by whoever holds the freehold.
Ground Rent – A yearly fee paid to the freeholder of leasehold properties.
HM Land Registry – This is the government organisation that holds and registers owners of properties.
Leasehold – This is the right to occupy a freehold property for a given length of time under certain terms (differs on each leasehold).
Mortgage Deed – A mortgage deed is a legally binding agreement, using property as collateral for a loan.
Sales Memorandum – This document would contain all the details of the sale including all parties contact information, price of purchase and any special conditions attached to the agreed offer.
Service Charges – Annual fee payable to the freeholder of your property. This is usually to cover cost of maintenance and repairs.
Searches – There are many searches that are conducted during the sales process this section describes what they are and why they are carried out.
Local Authority Searches – A local authority search would provide detailed information about the property and the surrounding areas.
The main sections that this search looks at our listed below:
- If the property is listed
- If the property is in a conservation area
- If there any preservation orders in the area
- The search also check for new road proposals and planning permission affecting the property
Water, Drainage And Other Property Searches – This search would look at the maintenance and proximity of the sewers, drains and pipes.
Environmental Search – This search looks at the previous history of the property to see if there have been any issues in the past and possible issues with the surrounding environment. They would be mainly looking at subsidence or risk of flooding from nearby rivers or other water source.
Commons Registration – This is a search more commonly focused on when buying agricultural land. It looks at id the property is on the border of common land.
Mining Search – This search is mainly to determine the risk of a property that has been built on top of mine.
Land Charges – This search would highlight any proceeding where the property is being held collateral (for example in the event of an unpaid mortgage). The search would show any restriction that could be attached to the land/property in terms of the usage.
Chancel Repair Liability Search – The reasoning behind this search goes back to medieval times when the church or chancel was maintained by wealthy landlords with large estate. As time went on these large estates were slit into smaller estates but they still retain the responsibility of maintaining and repairing the church/chancel. The chancel repair liability search is a search that is very commonly carried out as it can be unclear which properties carry this responsibly.
Title Deeds – These are the documents that are show the registered ownership on a property/land. These are most commonly retrievable from land registry.
Vendor – The term to refer to the owner of the property that is being sold.