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Terms Your Estate Agent May Use

Apr 8, 2008
When buying or selling a house the process can be confusing and ultimately head spinning. Part of the problem is the terminology that your estate agent will use; deciphering what the agent actually means is half the battle to getting a clear idea of the buying or selling process. Here are some of the terms that may be bandied about by your estate agent.

When sorting out a mortgage the term 'additional security fee' may arise, this is a fee that is paid to protect the lender of mortgages over seventy five percent. It is also know as a 'mortgage indemnity premium'.

Another term your estate agent may use is a 'bridging loan' that is applied for to tide the buyer over until the funds from the selling of their house come through. These can be extremely useful as there is usually a period when selling a house where no money is readily available.

Your estate agent will definitely refer to a 'chain'. This is a situation that occurs when a seller needs the sale of their house to go through before they can fully complete the purchase of their next property. This can be an extremely detrimental situation, especially when the chain is full of people; it usually only takes one link in this chain to fail for the whole process to collapse for a number of buyers.

An estate agent will probably refer to a 'Conveyancing charge', put simply these are the legal fees that form part of any buying or selling process in the property world. There is also 'contacts race' that is the situation when two or more parties have made offers on any specific property.

The 'exchange of contracts' is a process that the estate agent will most probably pursue with gusto. It is the point when buyer and seller are bound to the purchase of property by law.

'Freehold' and 'leasehold' can be confusing terms that are often referred to by an estate agent. They are however simple, a freehold is the ownership of the land and property when purchasing while leasehold means that a buyer is purely obtaining the property and not the land it sits upon.

'Gazumping' and 'gazundering' are both terms to do with buying and selling that you average estate agent will dislike. The former is when the seller accepts a higher offer after already accepting an offer while the latter is when a buyer attempts to have the price lowered just before the exchange of contracts.

A 'local authority search' is something that your estate agent and also your solicitor should advise. It is the process of studying local authority records to see if there are any outstanding notices on a property.

A 'structural survey' is something that all estate agents should advocate, it is the process of employing an independent surveyor to look at the property and ascertain whether there are any major structural faults.

The 'title' and 'title deeds' are extremely important to buyers; the title put simply is the ownership of a property by legal right whilst the deeds are the documentation that secures this legal right to ownership.

Finally there is the 'valuation survey' that is carried out to calculate the value of any specific property. This will usually be in conjunction with the lender to arrive at a suitable figure for a mortgage.

Hopefully this article has gone a little of the way to helping buyers and sellers understand what their estate agent means when referring to these terms. After all, moving property is a stressful enough experience as it is and any help that can be found to do with terminology is a resource worth perusing.
About the Author
Property expert Thomas Pretty looks into the terminology regularly used by your estate agent and attempts to explain these terms for the lay reader.
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