Jargon-Buster

Sometimes we use slightly perplexing words in the property world, so if you're not sure what they mean, check out our jargon-buster.

  • Sale by Tender

    A process by which a property is placed on the market inviting sealed bids to be submitted to the estate agent by a given date and time for the seller's consideration. Sale by Tender sales are subject to the buyer paying an introduction fee rather than the seller paying a commission fee to the agent.

  • Search

    This is a request or enquiry relating to information about a property that is held by the local authority or the Land Registry.

  • Security

    The property which the lender can sell to repay the loan if the borrower does not keep up the mortgage payments.

  • Semi-Detached

    A property which is joined to one other house.

  • Service Charge

    The costs that are incurred by a freeholder for repairing and maintaining internal and external communal parts of a building, which is passed to the leaseholder.

  • Sole Agent

    This is a single estate agent entrusted with the sale of a property; usually for an agreed term.

  • Solicitor

    A legal expert who handles all the documentation of a sale or purchase of a property.

  • Stamp Duty

    The tax paid by the buyer for a property where the purchase price exceeds £125,000. The rates of duty paid currently range from 1% to 4% of the purchase price depending upon the total value of the property bought. Some areas may be exempt from this charge depending on local conditions.

  • Standard Variable Rate (SVR)

    The standard variable rate is the normal interest rate lenders charge. This rate can change from time to time.

  • Structural Survey

    The most comprehensive type of property survey carried out by a professional surveyor that should give the buyer an indication of any structural problems or repairs required.

  • Studio Flat

    A property that consists of one main room or open-plan living area which incorporates both sleeping and cooking facilities, generally with a separate bathroom or shower room.

  • Subject to Contract (STC)

    The term used to confirm that a transaction is not legally binding.

  • Surveyor

    A professionally qualified expert who carries out an instructed survey.