A-Z of Property Jargon

The A-Z of Property Jargon

Ever wondered what ‘Gazundering’ is?? Here’s our list of Property Jargon and what it means, so you’ll always be in the know!

Arrangement fees
These are fees charged by a mortgage lender or broker to arrange a loan.

Building survey: a report into the physical state of the property, this is also sometimes referred to as a full structural survey.

A chain is formed when several property sales and purchases are interdependent, for example the purchase of one property can only occur after another has been sold.

The point when the sale of the property is concluded and the buyer receives the keys. This occurs after the exchange of contracts (see below).

A representative, solicitor or licensed conveyancer, who deals with the legal aspects of buying or selling a property. The buyer and seller will each appoint their own conveyancer.

The legal process of transferring the ownership of a property.

The items in addition to legal fees in conveyancing. These may include Stamp Duty Land Tax, Land Registry fees, search fees, mortgage redemption costs and any other expenses.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) shows the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property and gives an indication of the fuel bills. The grades range from A (the best) to G (the worst).


Equity, or capital, represents the amount of money a homeowner has put into a property. This value is built up over time as the owner pays off the mortgage and the market value of the property appreciates.

Exchange of contracts
When the buyer and seller both sign the contract for sale and the conveyancers action the exchange. When this occurs, the sale is binding and no terms may be altered.

Fixtures & fittings
Fixtures are items that have become part of a building or land and are therefore included in the sale. Fittings are not attached to the building or land and so are not included in the sale unless otherwise agreed. The seller will complete a fixtures and fittings form that will confirm what is included in the sale, what isn’t included, and what is for sale separately.

a type of occupancy which means you own the building and the land it sits on.

A Leasehold sale means that you own the property, but the land upon which the property is built is owned by the freeholder.

Where a sale is agreed to a buyer at a certain price and then the seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer. Until contracts are exchanged, estate agents are legally obliged to tell a seller about any offer they receive on a property.

Where a buyer reduces their offer at the point of preluding the exchange of contract.

Ground rent
The annual charge levied by the freeholder, on the leaseholder of a property.

When a seller/vendor grants an agency the authority to put their house on the Market

Land Registry
A government office which is responsible for holding records of land ownership and any charges, including mortgages, against the property.

Listed building
Buildings of special architectural or historic interest. A listed building may carry certain obligations and restrictions governing its use, repair, and maintenance.

Maintenance charge or service charge
Many leasehold properties (especially flats) are subject to such a charge which pays for items such as the insurance and maintenance of the building.

A flat with its own private entrance.

Open house (or open viewing)
A process, normally managed by an estate agent, where several house hunters are given a time of a few hours when they can all go and view a property for sale instead of separate, private viewings.

Shared ownership
An alternative home ownership scheme which gives first time buyers/those who don’t own a home the chance to purchase a share in a new build or re sales property.

This is a report prepared by a qualified building surveyor to check the structure for any faults. Home owners can choose from three main types of structural survey, depending on how much information they want.

The type of ownership of a property: for example, leasehold or freehold.

Valuation (or market appraisal)
A term often used by estate agents to cover the process of them giving an opinion of the open market value of a property.

The owner selling his/her property.