Property Jargon Buster

property renovation

Do you find some of the property jargon used by estate agents difficult to understand? Has Google become your closest ally during the property buying process?

If this is you, then fear not, property experts at GoodMove have revealed the 12 most searched for property terms according to Google Search Trends1,  Plus, experts have created a property jargon dictionary to help buyers understand difficult terminology and avoid expensive little mistakes!

1. Gazumping (1,500+ per cent increase)

Gazumping is a buyer’s horror story – it occurs when a seller verbally accepts an offer from one buyer before raising the asking price. It can also refer to a seller accepting a higher offer from another buyer after already accepting yours. Unsurprisingly, it was the UK’s most searched term with a 1,500 per cent increase in queries.

2.Buy-to-let (1,500+ per cent increase)

Renting out property is an incredibly popular motivation, and considering the generation-rent phenomenon, it’s a pretty wise one too. Buy-to-let refers to a property purchased with the intention of renting out, rather than living in it yourself. Over the year search terms for “how does a buy-to-let mortgage work?” have increased by over 1,500 per cent!

3.Power of attorney: (450 per cent increase)

In some scenarios it may be necessary to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of somebody else; in this case, you may need the power of an attorney. An example of this is the family of an elderly relative who is moving into a care home taking control of their estate.

4.Leasehold (250 per cent increase)

With a 250 per cent increase in search queries for “What does leasehold mean?” this is another term buyers struggled with. In brief, a leasehold property is one that is situated on land owned by somebody else (the freeholder). A leaseholder owns the property for the duration of a lease but doesn’t have any claim to the surrounding land.

5.Capital gains tax (200 per cent increase)

One thing buyers may not be aware of is the profit gained on the sales of a property, that is not your primary residence, can be taxed. This is known as capital gains tax and the amount you pay depends on several factors: including the price of the property and your income.

6.Freehold (180 per cent increase)

On the other hand, freehold means that you own the entire estate you live on, including the property and its surrounding land. You are free to make any changes you like, within the parameters of planning permission.

7.Probate (100 per cent increase)

When somebody dies, their estate is distributed between the beneficiaries outlined in their will, a ‘probate’ is the legal administration process that accompanies this. Please note that if this is something you experience, taxes and debts in relation must be paid beforehand.

8. Property chain (100 per cent increase)

Occasionally individuals will be stepping into the shoes of both the buyer and the seller. This process is more commonly known as a property chain. A property chain can cause a sale or purchase to stall or fall through, so consider the benefits of getting in touch with a quick house sale company.

9.Gazundering (100 per cent increase)

On the flip side of gazumping is gazundering. This is when a buyer initially agrees to an offer on a property, before reducing it prior to contracts being exchanged. For many sellers, refusing the offer could lead them back to square one with the entire chain falling apart. Often this means they can feel forced to accept.

10. Conveyancing (90 per cent increase)

Following the property boom over the pandemic, there was a 90 per cent increase in searches such as “how does house conveyancing work?”. To put it simply, conveyancing refers to the legal transferring of property ownership from one person to another – most commonly from the seller to the buyer.

11. Survey (60 per cent increase)

We’re all aware that a survey refers to the assessment of information – however, with a 60 per cent increase in search queries, not many of us knew its context in property. A property survey is a professional inspection of a property to determine its conditions, and any problems with the structure.

12. Ground rent (50 per cent increase)

If you are living in a rented property, you will be paying what is known as ground rent. In short, ground rent is an agreement that stipulates the leaseholder of a property to pay a regular fee to the freeholder to occupy the land, for a specific length of time.

Commenting on the research, Nima Ghasri, director at Good Move says: “When purchasing a property, the jargon used by estate agents can be somewhat confusing if people are not regularly buying, selling or renting. This can mean that very often buyers can make costly mistakes by misunderstanding estate agents. Therefore, we hope that by providing some clarification on terminology it can assist with a smoother and less stressful buying process.”