Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Jargon Buster

If you're thinking about buying a new home, take a look at our jargon buster below and familiarise yourself with some of the key words and phrases you may need to know.

New homes

AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE  
An agreement from a lender stating the amount they are willing to lend subject to finding a suitable property.

BUY-TO-LET MORTGAGE
A mortgage which is specifically for those who intend to purchase a property solely to rent out.

CML
Council of Mortgage Lenders, a body  which oversees the Mortgage lending process.

CHAIN
Where purchasers are dependant on the sale of their existing property to complete on their new one, these interconnecting sales are called 'the chain'.

COMPLETION
The legal transfer of ownership passes to the buyer.

CONDITIONS OF SALE
The terms under which the sale or purchase of the property should proceed

CONTRACT
The legal documentation which details the agreement of purchaser between the buyer and the seller.

CONVEYANCER
A qualified person, usually a solicitor, who will deal with the legal aspects of your purchase or sale.

CONVEYANCING
The term indicating the legal work to be carried out relating to your purchase or sale.

COVENANTS
Regulations or restrictions relating to a property, these are detailed in the titled deeds.

DEEDS
Title Deeds are legal documents which prove ownership, they are generally held by the mortgage provider.

DEPOSIT
The monies paid at exchange of contracts by purchaser, generally this is 10%, but it does vary.

EXCHANGE OF CONTRACTS
Where both parties exchange signed contracts which will legally bind both to the sale and purchase of the property at an agreed price. 

FREEHOLD
Indicates complete ownership of the property for an unlimited period of time.

GROUND RENT
An annual charge payable on a leasehold property to the freeholder (landlord).

HOMEBUYER'S SURVEY
This is a survey carried out by a qualified Chartered Surveyor to access the condition and market value of a property.

LAND REGISTRY FEE
Fee paid to the Land Registry to register ownership of a property.

LEASEHOLD
Indicates ownership of a property by way of a lease for a fixed period of time.

LOCAL AUTHORITY SEARCH
Enquiries made by the purchaser’s solicitor regarding any current or future developments or changes to an area which may affect the property being purchased.

MAINTENANCE CHARGE
Also know as a Service Charge, is a fee payable by a leaseholder for the upkeep and maintenance for communal areas within a building.

NHBC GUARANTEE
A guarantee provided by the National House Building Council (NHBC) for new homes. This covers structural defects within a set timeframe.

OFFER
The amount of money a buyer offers to purchase a property.

OPEN MARKET VALUE
The price at which a property would sell assuming there is a willing buyer and a willing seller.

PURCHASER
A person wishing to buy a property.

RESERVATION FEE
A sum of money payable to a developer once an offer has been accepted, this fee will result in the property being removed from the market and will be deducted from the completion payment.

SEARCH
An enquiry made for information regarding the property held by the local authority or land registry.

SOLICITOR
A qualified legal expert who deals with all documentation relating to the sale/purchase.

STAMP DUTY
A tax paid by the purchaser of a property, the amount payable will relate to the cost of the property.

SSTC
Sold Subject to Contract, a property is under offer and both parties intend to complete the sale, however nothing is legally binding at this point.

SURVEYOR
A qualified professional who carries out survey’s on properties.

TENURE
The legal terms under which a person’s ownership is defined, i.e. freehold or leasehold.

TITLE DEEDS
The documents detailing the legal ownership of a property.

TRANSFER DEEDS
The documentation from the land registry  showing the transfer of ownership from seller to buyer.

UNDER OFFER
The status of a property once a seller has accepted an offer but has yet to exchange contracts on the sale.

VALUATION SURVEY
A compulsory valuation for mortgage purposes to assess the value of a property.

VENDOR
The person selling a property.

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