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There are lots of terms used when purchasing a new home. To ensure you are familiar with all the legal and financial terms that may be used during the purchase process we have listed some of the key words and phrases below.








Energy Performance Certificate -EPC  



Land Certificate

Land Registry Fees

Local Authority Search




Mortgage Indemnity Insurance / Guarantee

Mortgage Protection Policy

Mortgage Valuation Survey

New Home Warranty

Registered land


Stamp Duty

Subject to Contract


Title Deeds

Title report on


Chain Free

Completion Statement

Conditions of Sale


Conveyance or Transfer




Exchange of Contract

Fixtures & Fittings


Land Registry

Licensed Converyancer


Transfer Document














A chain, is the process of buying or selling a house in a sequence of linked house purchases, each of which is dependent on the preceding and succeeding purchase.. 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 cancelled.

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.

The finalising of the sale when all the monies are passed over and the buyer has legal right to the property.

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

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.

A written agreement enforcable by law that is entered into by the seller and buyer of the property which only becomes binding on exchange of contracts, i.e. when both parties have signed the contract and the purchaser has handed over the agreed deposit to the solicitor.

The property lawyer who manages all of the matters arising from the sale of a house or the purchase of a house -a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer

The legally binding document that transfers the rights, burdens and the benefit of the land.

The legal transfer of property ownership from seller to buyer. Conveyancing is usually done by a solicitor.

A restriction or condition tied to the use of land that may affect the property, which must be complied with.

A written instrument, which has been signed and delivered, by which one individual, the grantor, conveys title to real property to another individual.

A part payment of the agreed purchase price paid by the buyer to secure the property.

Expenses paid by the solicitor/licensed conveyancer on the buyer's behalf, such as stamp duty, land registry charges and search fees.

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

We  are required to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It gives details/statistics about the energy efficiency of the property.

The value of your property, minus the amount you still owe on your home loan.

The point that both parties are committed to the transaction

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

One of the two current tenures of land recognised by English law. This recognises full ownership of both the property and the land on which it stands.

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

This is usually discussed with your mortgage adviser or lender when making mortgage arrangements. You will need:


Contents insurance: To work out how much cover you need for a household contents insurance policy, you need to add up the value of all the possessions in your home. It is recommended that any items of particular value - jewellery for example – are specified and covered by an “all risks” policy, which applies even when the items are not in the home.


Buildings insurance: Cover for the bricks and mortar of your home. It is advisable to review insurance cover regularly.


A certificate issued by the Land Registry as evidence of ownership.


Land Registry fees are the fees charged by the Government for changing the records that the Government's Land Registry holds about your property. The fees charged by land registry are paid through your solicitor based on the purchase price of the property and are fixed by the Government.

The government organisation that records who owns land and property in the UK.

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.

The local authority search is a search of the local authority's records, including planning, building control, highways department and is carried out by your solicitor, this establishes if your new home is likely to be affected by any planning decisions.



Most people will need to take out a mortgage – or loan – to buy a house.

The lender.

The borrower (whose property is secured for the loan).

Your mortgage lender will usually require additional security if the loan is in excess of 70% or 80% of the purchase price. This involves a once-only payment which can normally be added to your mortgage. The amount of the payment varies with the amount borrowed and the term of the loan.

An insurance policy often arranged in conjunction with a repayment mortgage, which is taken out to ensure that the loan will be paid off should the borrower die before the end of the mortgage term. Insurance may also be available to protect your repayments in the event of redundancy.

The inspection of a property to assess its value and condition. Your lender will normally insist on a survey before agreeing on a loan.This is not to be confused with a structural survey.

An insurance backed strcutrual warranty provided with many new homes. This is provided by CRL at The Beeches but may also be provided by NHBC, Premier or a number of other suppliers at other developments.

Land (including buildings on it) the title to which is registered at the Land Registry and legal ownership of which is guaranteed.

A term used to denote the physical and written procedure for determining any adverse effects in/on a particular property that may affect the value of the property.

Government tax on the purchase price of a property. Your solicitor will automatically handle payment on your behalf.

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 (STC) means that the seller and buyer are proceeding with the sale but the paperwork is not yet complet. It is not legally binding.

The rights and liabilities that attach to the property.

Legal documents describing the rights and liabilities that attach to the property and prove ownership of property.

Solicitors' certificate confirming that the title to the property is acceptable. A Lender must have one before an advance cheque for the mortgage monies can be issued.

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



Someone who acts on behalf of someone else.


Where two parties reach consensus on a set of facts or course of action.


Following exchange of contracts the conveyancing contract is legally binding on the buyer and seller. Should either party fail to complete or otherwise breach the contract that defaulting party will be in breach of contract.

Boundaries define the extent of the property in question and are usually marked with fencing, hedging or walls. They are usually shown on the deeds plan.

Breach of Contract