Conveyancing Jargon Uncovered!

Chain

This word is used to describe the situation where there are a series of transactions dependent on each other for example “X” is selling to “Y” who is selling to “Z” etc.

Cleared Funds

These are monies that have cleared in the Practice’s client account such that they can then be transferred on by way of electronic transfer.

Completion Date

This is the date when the sale and purchase of the property in question actually takes place. The completion date is agreed by the parties before exchange of Contracts. Once Contracts have been exchanged this date becomes fixed and legally binding. The completion date is the day that you actually move.

Contract

Otherwise known as an “Agreement” this is the document prepared by the Seller’s lawyer and sets out the terms and conditions relating to the sale and will include details of the Buyer, the Seller, the property itself and the sale price..

Deposit

This is the sum of money paid by the Buyer to the Seller on exchange of Contracts.

Normally the amount is 10% of the purchase price, but usually a deposit of less than 10% is agreed where the Buyer’s mortgage finance is over 90% of the property purchase price.

Exchange of Contracts

This is the process by which the Sellers’ and the Buyers’ lawyer put the Contract into legal effect and legally bind the Seller and the Buyer. The Seller and the Buyer can then no longer withdraw from the sale/purchase without incurring financial penalties.

Fixtures, Fittings and Contents Form

This lists those items the Seller will leave at or take from the property. This document forms part of the Contract and information pack that the Seller’s lawyer send to the Buyer’s lawyer at the beginning of the transaction.

HIPS

From August 2007 it is now compulsory for anyone wishing to place a property for sale on the open market to compile a Home Information Pack, to include details of the title, local and water searches and replies to standard

enquiries.

Indemnity Policy

This is an insurance policy usually on payment of a one off premium, and often for a term of twenty years or more, designed to protect the insured against a defect in title, for example, breaches of building regulations

Local Authority Search

This is a request to the Local Authority to provide any information that the Local Authority may have which relates to the property being bought; for example planning entries, financial charges and local road schemes, but does not cover any adjoining land. The search can be applied for by direct application to the local authority or by a personal search.

Mortgage Offer

This is the formal and official confirmation by a Mortgage Lender that it will lend money to the Buyer to support his/her purchase and it will also set out the conditions upon which the mortgage money will be lent.

Office Copy

This is an official printout from the Land Registry of the title/proof of ownership relating to the property being bought and sold.

Residential Conveyancing

The process of legally transferring property ownership from the seller’s name to the buyer’s name.

Sellers Property Information Form

This is a questionnaire the Seller of a property completes and which forms part of the Contract and information pack prepared by the Sellers lawyer at the outset.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This is a tax paid by the Buyer to the Inland Revenue based on the purchase price of the property bought.

Stamp Duty Land Tax Return

Multiple page tax return now required to be completed by the Buyer on all purchase transactions regardless of whether Stamp Duty Land Tax is payable. There are strict time limits for the submission of a properly completed form with Government Penalties for delay or errors!

Transfer Deed

This is the document that both the Seller and the Buyer sign and which is presented to the Land Registry by the Buyers lawyer when the application is made to change the name of the registered owner of the property.

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