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The property sales market at the moment is booming. There is a huge demand for properties for sale but not enough properties available for to buy. Since lockdown, many of us have changed the way we appreciate our homes - that's whether we're living in a rented property or own it outright. The types of properties in extremely high demand right now are houses with outside space and room to work from home. The most popular locations are in semi-rural or rural areas that are close to walking trails and the countryside.

So finding a property like this has become extremely difficult for property buyers. To make life a little easier, we've written a sort of glossary of terms for you. This should help you understand terms used in property descriptions and sales agreements.

If you have any questions, get in touch with us or you can view our current properties for sale.

Sales Glossary of Terms

We have compiled a shortlist of property terms to help assist you with the buying process:

Chain: This is the sequence of buyers and sellers – most people who sell their property are also buying at the same time. Therefore there can be a chain of a number of sellers, which depend on each other for the sale and purchase of their new properties. For example, if one buyer or seller drops out, the chain may collapse, whereby the paperwork for the properties within the chain is delayed or canceled.

Chain Free: This is when the owner of the property does not need to sell the property in order to buy another; therefore it is offered as chain free. 

Completion Date: The date when the transaction (either the sale or purchase of a property) is completed, i.e. the date you become the owner.

Completion Statement: A statement from the solicitor detailing all financial transactions, including all costs.

Conditions of Sale: The terms by which the buyer and seller agree to sell/buy the property. The Law Society sets standard conditions. The lawyer sets special conditions.

Contract: The legally binding agreement specifying details of the house sale or house purchase. The contract legally commits both the buyer and the seller to the transaction. The house seller's conveyancing lawyer draws up two copies of the same contract and each party signs their own copy. When both parties are ready to legally commit, the two contracts are exchanged.

Conveyancer: The property lawyer who manages all of the matters arising from the sale of a house or the purchase of a house. Can be a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.

Conveyance or Transfer: The legally binding document that transfers the rights, burdens and the benefit of the land.

Council for Licensed Conveyancers: A regulatory body for conveyancing with whom all conveyancers should be registered.

Deeds: Legal title document which provides historical information about the property.

Deposit: The amount paid to exchange contracts that is only refundable in exceptional circumstances. Contracts provide for 10% of the purchase/sale price but can often be negotiated to a lower level.

Disbursements: Out-of-pocket expenses paid by the solicitor/licensed conveyancer on the buyer's behalf, such as stamp duty, land registry charges, and search fees.

Easement: A right given to the house owner over an adjoining property (e.g. right of way).

EPC: Energy performance certificate- part of a home information pack.

Equity: This is what you actually own – the difference between the market value of your property and the amount of the loan you still owe to your lender. 

Exchange of Contract: The point that both parties are committed to the transaction.

Fixtures and Fittings: A list of the items at the property, which are either included or excluded from the agreed price.

Flexible Mortgage: Mortgages that are flexible in terms of how you pay the loan back.

Freehold: One of the two current tenures of land recognised by English law. This recognises the whole of the land, not just a building.

FCA: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is an independent body concerned with consumer protection in the financial market.

Gazumping: When the house seller accepts a higher price offer from another house buyer after the initial offer has been accepted.

Indemnity Insurance: An insurance taken out by conveyancing firms to cover losses to clients arising from errors or fraud in dealing with their matters.

Land Registry Fees: Fees paid by your conveyancing lawyer on the buyer's behalf to register the ownership of property with the Land Registry.

Land Registry: A government office that stores records of land ownership and any charges, like a mortgage. 

Leasehold: The second current tenure of land recognised by English law. This is over a term of years and not unlimited. There will be a Landlord who will own the freehold. This usually relates to a flat or apartment.

Licensed Conveyancer: A licensed conveyancer is a specialist property lawyer, someone who is trained and qualified in all aspects of the law dealing with property. Licensed conveyancers are sufficient to secure adequate protection for consumers and that the conveyancing services provided by such persons are provided both economically and efficiently.

Mortgage Deed: The legal agreement that gives the lender a legal right to property.

Mortgage Fees: Normally charged by your financial advisor, for acting on behalf of your bank or building society.

Redemption Fee: An Early Repayment Charge which can be charged by your existing mortgage lender if you pay off your mortgage early or you move to a different mortgage. 

Searches: A method of checking matters that may affect the value of the property. The only obligatory one before exchange is a Local Authority Search which covers items such as road maintenance and planning applications. The search covers the property not the surrounding area.

Stamp Duty: A government tax payable by every home buyer when purchasing a property over £125,000. Duty is charged at 2% for homes priced between £125,001 and £250,000. The rate is 5% for homes between £250,001 and £925,000. The rate is 10% for homes between £925,001 and £1.5m. For homes over £1.5m the rate is 12%. If the property is being sold for less than £125,000, no stamp duty is payment is required. 

Calculate your stamp duty

Survey: A report produced by a building surveyor for the purpose of determining the value of the property and if it is structurally sound.

Subject to Contract: A provisional agreement between the house buyer and the house seller that is not legally binding.

Transfer Document: The final document that transfers the property from the house seller to the house buyer.

Valuation Survey: A survey to allow a property value to be determined for mortgage purposes. This is not to be confused with a structural survey

Contact your nearest Estate Agent

If you're still left with a few questions, our teams are here to help you. See below contact details for our offices in Barnsley, Penistone, and Denby Dale. You can also register with us as a prospective tenant so that we can inform you of when we find a rental property that suits your needs.

Barnsley Estate Agent

41-43 Church Street, Barnsley S70 2AH

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 09:30 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 12:30

Contact us
Tel: 01226 288 920
Email Sales

Penistone Estate Agent

2 Crown House, Shrewsbury Road, Penistone S36 6DY

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 09:30 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 12:30

Contact us
Tel: 01226 767 766
Email Sales

Denby Dale Estate Agent

361 Wakefield Road, Denby Dale HD8 8RP

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 09:30 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 12:30

Contact us
Tel: 01484 943 020
Email Sales

Get in touch with us today