Here you can find the definitions of professional and technical terms used in the conveyancing process that can be confusing particularly for first time purchasers.

  • Advance
    The mortgage loan
  • Bridging loan
    Short-term loan enabling the borrower to bridge the gap between the purchase of a new house and the sale of the old house
  • Collateral
    Property pledged as security against the repayment of the loan
  • Completion
    The final legal transfer of ownership of the property
  • Contract
    The written legal agreement between the seller and the buyer with regard to the property
  • Conveyancer
    The solicitor or legal executive/licensed conveyancer who arranges the legal aspects of selling and buying property
  • Deeds
    The legal documents which entitle the owner to the property
  • Disbursements
    The fees for land registry and local searches which are payable to the conveyancer by the buyer
  • Equity
    The difference between the value of the property and the amount of any loans secured against it
  • Exchange of contracts
    The point where both the buyer and seller are legally bound to the transaction and risk regarding the property passes to the buyer
  • Freehold
    Ownership of the property and land upon which it stands - not usually available for flats
  • Gazumping
    The situation that arises when a Seller accepts a higher offer from another Buyer when he has already accepted an earlier lower offer from a different Buyer. The first Buyer is said to be gazumped and then has to decide whether to match that offer increase it, or lose the property
  • Gazundering
    Similar to gazumping but in reverse. This arises where a Buyer waits until exchange of contracts is imminent and then dramatically reduces the offer
  • Home Information Pack (HIP)
    Home Information Pack - Abolished in 2009. Unlikely to return!
  • Ground rent
    Annual charge payable by leaseholders to the freeholder
  • Homebuyers Report
    Surveyors report on the property - less extensive than a structural survey
  • Indemnity
    Single payment for an insurance policy to cover the value of the property to the lenders - when they lend a high percentage of the purchase price
  • Land Registry Fee
    A fee payable to the land registry to register the transfer of ownership of the property
  • Leasehold
    Ownership of the property but not the land on which it stands so that when the lease expires ownership of the property reverts to the freeholder
  • Lessee
    The person to whom the lease is granted
  • Lessor
    The person who grants a lease
  • Mortgage
    A loan made against the security of the property
  • Mortgagee
    The person (or organisation - eg bank or building society) lending the mortgage advance
  • Mortgagor
    The borrower to whose property stands as security to the mortgage loan
  • Principle
    The amount of the loan on which interest is calculated
  • Purchaser
    The person buying the property. Now more usually called "The Buyer"
  • Redemption
    The final payment of a mortgage loan
  • Redemption Fee/Redemption Interest
    The charge made by some lenders if a mortgage is ended early
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
    A Government tax. Currently payable on properties over £125,000.00  (£150,000.00 on commercial property) Rates of tax vary.
  • Subject To Contract
    The period before exchange of contracts which allows either party to withdraw without incurring any penalty
  • Survey
    Full inspection of the property by a surveyor, usually on behalf of a buyer
  • Term
    The length of time over which a mortgage loan is to be repaid or the length of a lease.
  • Valuation
    Inspection of the property to ascertain its acceptability to the lender as security against the mortgage loan, for which the borrower must pay
  • Vendor
    The person selling the property more commonly called "The Seller" now