Jargon Buster


This refers to succession of transactions and buyers and sellers involved in a house move. Thus if we were to sell your house to a buyer, who in turn had sold their house to another buyer, who in turn had sold to a First Time Buyer, there would be four people in the chain.

All these links have to be continually checked during the transaction, otherwise should one link break at the end ie; the First Time Buyer pulls out because they cannot get a mortgage, then all of the sales will fall through.

Check In Appointment

Check In Appointment is an appointment completed at the property at the commencement of a Tenancy to confirm the condition of the property, sign the inventory and take meter readings.

Checkout Appointment

Checkout Appointment is an appointment completed at the property to check the condition of the property, take meter readings and hand over keys. The checkout procedure is the first part of the deposit return.

Completion Date

This is the date that ownership of the property officially passes from the seller to the buyer. Upon Exchange of Contracts (see below) the seller and buyer will agree a suitable date for completion and notify their Solicitors. Thus you should leave all final arrangements, such as home removals, until such time as this date is fixed.


This is the legal process where the ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer, carried out by a Solicitor or qualified Conveyancer (your Solicitor will have full details).


This will be a sum of money which forms part of the purchase price. It is handed over to the sellers’ Solicitor upon Exchange of Contracts.

A deposit can be anything up to 10% of the selling price and is negotiated in advance. Your Solicitor will explain all implications, but you should be aware that if you pay a reduced deposit and fail to complete through no fault of the seller, you will be liable to make the deposit up to the full 10% and could be liable to further compensation to the seller through your failure to complete.


Solicitors make these payments to other people on your behalf, these include such things as Local Authority Searches, Official Searches and Stamp Duty.


This is the difference between the amount you owe on your mortgage and the current value of your property. Negative equity, on the other hand, is when your property (current market value) is worth less than your mortgage, making it hard and expensive to move.

Exchange of Contracts

After completing all the necessary work on your behalf, the Solicitors will undertake “Exchange of Contracts”, upon which a seller and buyer are now legally bound. The seller must sell and the buyer must buy at the price stated in the Contract. Before Exchange of Contracts occurs, either party can walk away from the transaction at any time.

Fixtures and Fittings

Fixtures and Fittings include references to any of the fixtures, fittings, furnishings, or effects, floor, ceiling or wall coverings.