Sunday, 17 December 2017

Agent jargon-buster

HOUSE hunters are horribly confused by the jargon that goes with the process — particularly first-timer buyers.

HOUSE hunters are horribly confused by the jargon that goes with the process — particularly first-timer buyers.

According to recent figures, 40 per cent of house hunters are left scratching their heads by the complex terminology used through the whole house-buying process. With this in mind, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has released a jargon-busting list to help prospective buyers get their foot in the door.

“Chain” refers to the sequence of buyers and sellers. Most sellers are also buyers, meaning there can often be a chain of people waiting on each other. This means that deals are dependent on other deals going through. For instance, if a buyer or seller drops out then the chain can collapse and the purchasing of a home can be cancelled or delayed.

“Exchange of contract” is the point at which both parties are legally committed to the transaction. Until the contracts are signed, the buyer and seller can walk away at any time.

“Completion date” is the point at which the transaction is complete and ownership of the property passes from the seller to the buyer, while “conveyancing” is the legal process where all the issues arising from the sale or purchase of a house are taken care of and ownership of a property is transferred. The latter is managed by a solicitor or qualified conveyancer.

“Disbursements”, meanwhile, are payments made by your solicitor to other people on your behalf. These include stamp duty, land registry charges and search fees.

“Freehold” means ownership of the land and any property that stands on it, while “leasehold” means ownership of property for a certain length of time.

A “building survey” is a report into the physical state of the property, also sometimes referred to as a full structural survey.

Finally, “vendor” is another word used to describe the seller of the residential property.

Mark Hayward, NAEA president, said: “Agents must take time to explain terminology to first-time buyers, who can often be in a vulnerable position because they do not have experience of buying a home.”

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