A - Z of Estate Agency


The sale of a property to the highest bidder.  At Peter Alan we have our own auction department – All Wales Auction.

Bridging loan

A short-term loan enabling someone to purchase a property or 'bridge the gap’ before selling their existing property.

Building survey

A full inspection on the physical condition of a property.  This is conducted by a chartered surveyor who will write a detailed report about the property and any defects.

Buildings insurance

An insurance policy that pays the cost of repair or rebuilding in the event that your property is damaged or destroyed.  Most mortgage lenders will require buildings insurance to be taken out as a condition of their loan.

Buy-to-let mortgage

A type of mortgage specifically designed for people buying a property with the intention of renting it.


A chain occurs when several property sales and purchases are reliant upon each other in order to complete the various property purchases.  At times a chain can be long and complicated but in branch Sales Progressors will be able to help keep it moving.


The point at which the money is forwarded from the buyer's solicitor to the solicitor of the vendor and the sale of the property is complete.  It is the date that the buyer becomes the legal owner of the new property

Completion statement

A document which the conveyancer will provide as a record of all the financial transactions and costs.

Conditions of sale

The specific details in a sale that specify the rights and duties of the buyer and seller.


The legal document detailing the agreement of terms between the seller and buyer. When a sale is agreed, a draft contract is sent to the buyer by the seller’s legal representative and at exchange of contracts both parties are bound to a date on which to complete the sale.


The legal process surrounding the transfer of ownership of a property from buyer to seller.


A representative, solicitor or licensed conveyancer, who deals with the legal aspects of buying or selling a property. The buyer and seller will each appoint their own conveyancer.


Rules governing the property detailed in its title deeds or lease.

Credit history

A record of an individual's or company's past borrowing, including information about late payments and bankruptcy.


The legal documents that prove the ownership of the property.


The amount of money paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts, often 10% of the purchase price.


Additional items on top of the legal fees in conveyancing such as Stamp Duty Land Tax, land registry fees, search fees and any other expenses.  The conveyancer should be able to estimate the likely disbursements for you before the transaction starts.


A right that impacts a property – such as the right of neighbours to pass over an access path or the right of the water company to have their pipes and drains running under the property.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC measures the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of a property using a scale of A (best) –G (worst). It is a legal requirement to have a valid EPC when selling a property.


Your equity in your property is how much of it you own. It is the difference between the value of your home and the mortgage you still owe.  Negative equity occurs when you owe more than the sale price of the property.

Exchange of contracts

The point at which signed contracts are physically exchanged, legally binding the buyer and seller to the purchase and sale of a property.  No terms can be altered from this point, such as the agreed price.


The owner of the property also owns the land on which it is built.  This differs to leasehold where someone else owns the land.

Land Registry

A government office which is responsible for holding records of land ownership.


A type of ownership in which a person owns a property, but not the land on which it is built. The owner of the Freehold will grant a lease on the property for a specified length of time.  The term of a lease varies but is commonly 99, 125 or 999 years.

Listed building

Buildings of architectural or historic interest. A listed building may carry certain responsibilities and restrictions related to the use, repair, and maintenance of the property.

Local authority search

A buyer’s conveyancer makes an enquiry to the local authority to find out if there are any matters affecting the property that is being purchased.


An amount of money advanced by a lender e.g. bank or building society, on the security of a property.  This is repayable over a long period of time.

Mortgage Services Consultant

A person who advises the customer on the types of loans available and they will help to process any subsequent application.  There are Mortgage Services Consultants based in each of the Peter Alan branches.


The amount of money that a potential purchaser proposes to pay for a property.

Open house

A day/time slot where several house hunters can all go and view a property for sale, instead of separate individual viewings.

The Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman offers a free and independent service for resolving disputes between sales and letting agents, which are members of The Property Ombudsman, and buyers/sellers of residential property in the UK.


The person buying a property.


If a mortgage is not paid, the lender may take ownership of the property by the process of repossession. 

Sole agent

When a seller chooses only one estate agent to sell their property.

Stamp duty

The tax paid to the government by the purchaser of a property.

Subject to contract

An offer has been accepted, but contracts are not yet exchanged and nothing is legally binding on either the seller or buyer.


If the ownership of a property is leasehold or freehold.

Title deeds

Documents detailing the legal ownership of a property.

Transfer document

The final legally binding document that transfers the property and all its rights from the seller to the buyer.

Under offer

A property becomes “under offer” when a seller accepts an offer from a buyer and the legal processes of the sale/purchase can begin.

Valuation (or market appraisal)

The process by which an estate agent will give their opinion of the market value of a property.


The seller of a property.