Selling your home can be complicated enough, our job here at Spring is to make selling a property an easy and stress-free process. To cut through all the jargon and help simplify your sale, here’s a quick no frills A-Z of all the terminology you might come across when selling your home.

Arrears:  A debt that is overdue after missing one or more required payments.

Appraisal valuation: The price that has been given to a property by an underwriter or surveyor.

Annual Percentage rate (APR): The annual cost to borrow money, including fees, expressed as a %.

Assignee: A person to whom a right or property is legally transferred to.

Bridging loan (Bridge loan): High interest loan to 'bridge the gap' between selling and buying a property.

Building Insurance: Insurance policy covering cost to repair or rebuild a property.

Chain: Series of linked property transactions mutually dependent on each for successful completion.

Completion date: Date when sale is final and ownership is transferred.

Completion statement: Statement of payments owed in order to complete a property purchase.

Contracts: Legally binding agreement that defines and governs rights between or among parties.

Conveyancer: A lawyer who specialises in the legal aspects of buying and selling property.

Conveyancing: The process of transferring legal ownership of a property.

Covenants: A formal agreement between 2 or more persons to do, or not do something specified.

Delayed completion: Exchange of contracts followed by pre-agreed delay before final completion.

Deposit: Monies paid upfront towards the cost of a property.

Disbursements: Owed expenses incurred on your behalf by a third-party during house sale/purchase.

Easement: A nonpossessory right to use and/or enter a property of another without possessing it.

Enquiries: Questions raised by the Conveyancer acting for the buyer in a property transaction.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): Defines energy efficiency of property & indicative costs to run.

Exchange of contracts: Legally binds buyer/seller and contractually completes a property transaction.

Exchange date: Buyer and seller exchange signed contracts, a completion date is set, and the buyer pays a deposit.

Equity: How much of a property you “own”, ie: the amount paid off the mortgage and deposit paid.

External Wall Fire Review Form (EWS1): Residential apartment building wall construction compliance.

Financial Advisor: Professional expertise to help their clients' make decisions around money matters.

FENSA: Government scheme monitoring building regulations for replacement windows and doors.

Freehold: Full ownership of the property and the land it is built on.

Flying freehold: Freehold property built over land which does not form part of the property.

Gazumping: When seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer before contracts are exchanged.

Gazundering: When buyer lowers their offer last minute despite having agreed to pay a higher price.

Ground rent: A fixed or escalating fee that the leaseholder pays to the owner of the freehold.

Home Buyers Report: Gives an overall opinion on the condition of a conventional property.

Land registry: Holds official records on who owns land and property, and whether money is owed.

Leasehold: Homeowner owns the property for a set time period that is specified on a lease agreement with the freeholder. When lease ends, ownership of property returns to the freeholder unless an extension is applied for.

License to Occupy (LTO): Granted access to your property for agreed time period post completion.

Memorandum of sale: Written confirmation of a property transaction complied after sale agreed.

Negative equity: When a property becomes worth less than the remaining value of your mortgage.

Peppercorn ground rent: A very low rent paid to the freeholder by someone who owns the leasehold of a building or piece of land.

Possession order:  Court instruction landlords apply for when they want to evict a tenant.

Power of Attorney: Legal document allowing someone to make decisions for you / act on your behalf.

Pre-marketing: Marketing of a property for sale once a formal offer is agreed prior to completion.

Probate: Legal document giving Will executors the authority to deal with assets / wishes of deceased.

Quickdox: A field-based collection agency for identification and document validation.

Repossession: Legal process where a house is taken back by a bank due to unpaid mortgage or loan.

Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors (RICS): Recognised professional body for surveyors.

Searches: Information on the property / local development plans that may affect property purchase.

Settle and conclude: Scottish terminology for exchange and completion.

Shared ownership: Pay mortgage on portion of property & rent to landlord on the remaining share.

Share of freehold: Common ownership of a property or land, and all structures attached.

Solicitor: Qualified legal professional who provides expert advice and support to clients.

Sold subject to contract (SSTC): An offer to buy a property that has been verbally accepted by seller.

Stamp Duty: Government tax on purchase of land / properties over a certain value threshold.

Survey: Inspects a property for any structural problems and will highlight any major repairs needed.

TA6 form: Completed by property seller giving buyer detailed info about the property being sold.

TA7 form: Completed by seller of leasehold property on how property is managed & service charges.

TA10 form: Completed by sellers detailing what fixtures and fittings are included as part of the sale.

Title deeds: Paper documents showing the chain of ownership for land and property.

Title search: Summary of property's ownership / use taken from Land Registry & mortgage lenders.

TR1 form: Used to transfer the whole of the property in one or more registered titles.

Under offer (see SSTC): Seller has accepted an offer from buyer but paperwork is not yet complete

Vacant possession: Property is ‘totally empty’, ie: no people / personal items remain in the property.

Valuation: An inspection by a professional to determine the current market value of a property.

Vendor:  The term given to the seller of the property, or those responsible for the sale.

We hope this A-Z proves useful during your home sale. But remember, your dedicated Spring Property Advisor is with you every step of the way and is always on hand to answer any questions.

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