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Estate Agent Terms

Estate Agent Terms You Should Know.

Communication is curial when buddying up with an estate agent to sell your property, and although it is the estate agent’s job to speak clearly so you have an understanding of what’s happening to your property and the market, it doesn’t hurt to know the terminology.

Let’s have a look at the most common and confusing terms here.


Annual Percentage Rate of Charge, the total cost of the credit to the consumer, expressed as an annual percentage of the total amount of credit, including interest and other charges applying.

Bridging Loan

A temporary loan is advanced to help buy a new property before the existing one has been sold.


A number of linked property sales where the exchange of contracts must take place simultaneously.

Closing Date

The date set for submission of offers when more than one party show interest in the property.

Completion Date

Completion of the legal transaction with all monies and documents having been distributed. This is also when the seller’s solicitor will instruct the estate agent to release the keys.


A person other than a solicitor who may conduct the conveyancing.


The legal work involved in buying and selling properties.


A condition contained within the Title Deeds or lease, that the buyer must comply with, which is usually applied to all future owners of the property. A restrictive covenant is one that prohibits the owner from doing something.


Fees, such as Stamp Duty, Land Registry and search fees on top of conveyancing which you normally pay via your solicitor.

Draft Contract

Unconfirmed version of the contract.

Early Repayment Charge

A charge made by the lender if the borrower terminates a mortgage in advance of the terms of the particular mortgage. Normally occurs when the borrower has benefited from reduced payments or cash back in the early period of a mortgage.


Financial Intermediaries Managers & Brokers Regulatory Authority.


The practice by a seller accepting a higher price than that previously agreed with someone else.


The practice by a buyer lowering his offer just before the exchange of contracts.


Independent Financial Advisor


Investments Managers Regulatory Organisation. Regulates investment managers.

Joint Agency

Where two estate agents work together to market a property.

Joint Mortgage

A mortgage where there is more than one individual named responsible for the mortgage.

Land Certificate

A Land Registry certificate proving ownership of property.

Land Registry

The Government organisation that holds records of all registered properties in England and Wales.


Life Assurance Unit Trust Regulatory Organisation.

Maintenance Charge

A charge made towards the upkeep of a leasehold property.

Missives Concluded

Scotland only. The solicitors must agree on the written negotiations of the sale – the ‘missives’. This can only be done once a mortgage offer is received. When the missives are agreed, this is known as ‘conclusion of missives’. Both parties are now legally bound to the sale/purchase.

Mortgage Deed

A legal document relating to the mortgage lender’s interest in the property.

Mortgage Offer

A formal written offer made by a bank or building society to lend an approved amount to purchase a property.


The selection of two or more estate agents to act on the seller’s behalf, usually incurring a higher fee than if the sale is completed by a sole agency.

Negative Equity

When the value of a property is less than the outstanding sum owed on a mortgage.


Independent professional bodies who investigate complaints on behalf of customers against estate agents, solicitors and insurance companies.


The term is used when a property is being sold, where a tenant has a legal right of occupation.

Private Treaty

The way in which most house sales are completed in England and Wales.

Repayment Mortgage

Your monthly repayment includes part interest and part capital repayment. So long as you meet all of the payments required by the lender on time, your mortgage will gradually reduce until it is repaid in full at the end of the mortgage term.


When loans are in default the mortgage lender can repossess the property and sell it so they can repay the debt.


Holding back part of a mortgage loan until repairs to the property are satisfactorily completed.

Subject to Conclusion of Missives

Scotland only. These words are used to indicate that an agreement is not yet legally binding.


The ultimate record of ownership of a property, the evidence of which is found in the title deeds.

Transfer Deeds

The Land Registry document that transfers legal ownership from seller to buyer.

Under Offer

When the seller has accepted an offer on the property but contracts have not yet been exchanged.

Variable Interest Rate

Rate of interest payment that fluctuates over time inline with general interest rates.


The legal name sometimes used to describe the seller of the property.

Verbal Offer

Offer from prospective purchaser, not legally binding on either party.


Mode of commencing legal proceedings.

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