Frequently Asked Questions


Here is a glossary of words that you are likely to come across during a property deal:

What is a completion date?

The agreed date on which the property will officially belong to you, after the paperwork has been completed and signed, and all the money owed has been transferred to the sellers’ team.

What is a contract?

The official, legally binding agreement signed by both the seller and the buyer, showing that on the exchange date, the property is entirely owned by the buyer.

What is a disbursement?

The money that you pay to the third party via your best value conveyancer, which makes the contract legally binding.

What does owning the freehold mean?

That the owner completely owns the land and any buildings thereon, as opposed to only having a temporary right over it.

What is the Land Registry?

The department in England and Wales that registers ownership and interest in land.

What is a mortgage?

The funds, in addition to your deposit, lent by a bank or building society to allow you to make up the total cost of your property.

What’s the difference between a mortgage deed, and a fee?

A deed is the legal document that puts in writing the amount you now owe the bank, and is listed on The Land Registry as a charge on the property. A fee is the amount of money charged by the mortgage arranger.

What is a property information form?

A form completed by the seller about the property. They could be sued if this document is deliberately incorrect.

What is redemption?

The amount of money that has to be paid to the mortgage lender to settle a loan on a property. The Land Registry is notified when ownership of a property is changed in this way. A fee is charged.

What are SMS updates?

Messages by text that you will receive on your phone at key stages of a good value, local conveyancing deal.

What is stamp duty?

A tax payment to the government for all properties costing over £125,000.

What is a survey?

Anyone buying or selling a property should obtain a report on its condition. A minimum survey is required to secure a mortgage.

What are title deeds and what is their transfer?

Original documents created when a property is built that have full details and a plan of the site. Title deeds also show who legally owns the property, and lists any previous owners showing date of sale (transfer).

What is a water drainage search?

A search is carried out relating to a property’s connection to the mains water supply establishing what company charges for the water and sewage services. This includes checking how a property is connected to the mains sewer, wastewater disposal and drinking water quality.