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Jargon Glossary


Once you have decided on your new home you are in a position to make an offer. Once this is accepted you can move to the next stage.


Exchange of contracts takes place when your solicitor has carried out the searches, satisfied any enquiries and when your mortgage is formally in place. It is at this stage that both parties are legally committed to the sale and the purchaser will be required to pay a deposit (usually 10%).


On average, this usually takes place four weeks after the exchange of contracts but can be done in a matter of hours after exchange in some cases, particularly for new build property. On completion, the money is transferred from your lender to the seller and keys can then be released to the purchaser.


A person who borrows money to purchase a property. The property is then pledged as security but the mortgagor remains the legal owner.


A person or body who lends money to a purchaser by way of a mortgage to enable them to have sufficient funds to purchase the property.


Your solicitor will carry out various searches on your property to ensure that there are no hidden surprises which could affect the value of the property.


It is vital that you know the difference between a valuation, a home buyers report and a full structural survey. There is a huge difference in cost but also in what these will tell you about your new home.


Often occurring in a rising market where the seller accepts an offer, subject to contract, from the purchaser, but at a later date the seller will not exchange contracts unless more money is paid. This usually happens because another buyer has offered more money for the property.


Where a buyer refuses to exchange contracts unless the price is reduced.

Subject to Contract

When an offer is made to purchase a property ‘subject to contract’, all dealings are subject to the actual exchange of contracts and nothing is binding on either party until contracts are exchanged.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This is a tax on transfers of land or property interests paid to the Inland Revenue by the purchaser on completion of sale. Payment is made on a sliding scale.Visit HMRC site

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