As with many professions, estate agency has a number of industry terms that can often be confusing for those looking to buy or sell a house.

Luckily it isn’t too complicated and we have put together a dictionary of the most commonly used industry terms, so you know exactly what is going on in the sale or purchase of your home.

Vendor – That’s You

Selling a house? Then this one is easy.

You are the vendor of the property you are trying to sell. Although generally you will be referred to as the seller, which makes more sense.

Portals

One common misconception is that sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla are online estate agents. This isn’t the case. The industry term for sites like this is a portal. A portal is used by the estate agents themselves, in order to further the advertising footfall to their property adverts.

NOT Estate Agents!

Much like Just Eat isn’t a takeaway restaurant, just a space where a number of takeaways advertise, property portals aren’t estate agents and online estate agents aren’t property portals.

 

FTB or First-time Buyer

A first-time buyer is someone who doesn’t previously own a property.

As a result, they don’t have a property to sell and will therefore, be the end of the chain your sale is part of. 

This makes first-time buyers much more popular as the lack of ongoing chain reduces the time and complications of your sale.

Under Offer

 If a property is under offer it means an offer has been made and the estate agent is progressing that offer with the seller. At this stage nothing is concrete but it is likely that if made at the right price, the seller will accept and continue to progress the sale to sold subject to contract.

Although at this point the property is essentially off the market, you are still able to make an alternative offer on the property and your agent must submit this under industry guidelines.

Gazumping

Gazumping is when a seller accepts an offer on their home from one potential buyer and starts the sale process. Before the sale is completed they are given another offer by a second buyer, for a higher price.

They then choose to accept this higher offer at the last minute, cutting the initial buyer out of the sale.

It can be heart-breaking for the person being gazumped and although frowned upon, happens regularly, particularly in markets with low stock levels.

A Chain

The term chain relates to how many people are involved in your purchase. So you may be buying from one person, who is buying from another, who in turn is buying from another.

This creates a chain and everyone involved must be ready to buy or sell for your sale to go through, even if they are three or four links down the chain.

Whoever you are selling to also counts as part of the chain, so a good estate agent will always know what stage everyone is at, in order to complete your sale on a certain date.

 

Sold Subject to Contract

Cash Buyer

When browsing through properties on portals such as Rightmove or Zoopla, you will often see properties that are STC or sold subject to contract. Again this essentially means the property is off the market and someone has had an offer accepted, but the sale hasn’t been finalised.

While the paper work is completed there is always a chance the sale could fall through and you are still able to make an offer on the property, which the agent must submit in line with industry guidelines.

However by this point it is unlikely the seller will jeopardise their sale by accepting a new offer and the practice of gazumping is generally frowned upon, although it does still happen in markets with low stock levels and high demand for property.

This is another straight forward one.

A cash buyer is someone that isn’t relying on a mortgage in order to purchase their property.

They already have the financial side covered and again, can be more popular than someone relying on a mortgage to purchase a property, as it results in an easier process for the seller.