Jargon Buster


Agreement in Principle

This is when your application for your mortgage has been approved by your lender, subject to further checks. These are likely to be checks on your income and the value of the property.

Arrangement Fee

A fee your lender will charge you for arranging your mortgage. It can be paid on completion or included in your mortgage loan.


Base/Bank Rate

Mortgage rates are determined by this. It is the interest rate at which the Bank of England will lend money to other banks.

Bridging Loan

If you’re buying a new property and the sale of your old property has not yet gone through, you may need a loan to bridge the gap.



The final stage of the sale. At this time all the monies are passed over and the buyer has legal right to the property.


A legal agreement between two parties that has two parts. You, the buyer sign one part and we, the seller sign the other.


The legal transfer of a property from one owner to another via your legal representative/solicitor.


Usually in your deeds, this is a legal restriction or condition affecting the property, which you must comply with. For example, pledging to maintain a fence.



Paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts and usually a percentage payment of the agreed purchase price.


The legal documents relating to the property. They are usually held on your behalf by your mortgage provider.


Energy Performance Certificate

In England and Wales, if you are selling a property you are required to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It tells the prospective buyers how energy efficient the property is.


This is where you, the buyer and us, the seller exchange contracts. After the exchange, the sale is legally binding.



A person who guarantees that a loan will be paid, even if the buyer defaults on the repayments


Home Builders Federation

A trade association representing private sector homebuilders in England and Wales. They will ask you to complete a Customer Satisfaction Survey shortly after moving in to determine how happy you are with the quality of your Morris home and the level of service you have received.


Independent Mortgage Advisors

Known as IMAs, these professionals offer independent financial advice on all financial matters. They have knowledge of the whole market and can recommend the most suitable financial products, such as mortgages.


Land Registry and Fees

The Land Registry is the government body that records who owns land and property in the UK. You pay them a fee, through your solicitor, to register your ownership of your new property.

Local Searches

These are carried out by your solicitor and reveal any changes that may effect your new home or the surrounding area, including any planning decisions and applications.


The Local Authority Building Control’s purpose is to raise the construction standards of new homes in the UK. They ‘sign off’ every single one of our homes and then provide you with a 10-year Buildmark warranty.


Management Company

A company who is appointed to take responsibility for the maintenance and management of all communal areas and shared services, like roads, streetlights, open spaces.


Most people take out a mortgage to buy a house. An Independent Mortgage Adviser can explain all the types of mortgages available to you. When you take out a mortgage your property is used as security.

Mortgage Valuation

When you apply for a mortgage the lender will normally insist on a survey before agreeing on a loan. They will assess the value and condition of the property.



The National House Building Council’s primary purpose is to raise the construction standards of new homes in the UK. They ‘sign off’ every single one of our homes and then provide you with a 10-year Buildmark warranty.


The period immediately after the building work on your new home has finished in which legal completion must take place. We will let your Solicitors know when notice is served.


Part Exchange

With Part Exchange, you buy our home and we buy yours. You’ll get the full market value, a guaranteed buyer and none of the hassle of a chain, or the stress of a sale falling through.


Sold Subject to Contract

When both the seller and the buyer have agreed a sale but the legal paperwork isn’t complete.

Stamp Duty

This is a government tax on the sale of a residential property. You will pay this at completion. The amount varies dependent on the purchase price and increases in bands.

Standard Variable Rate (SVR)

The standard interest rate set by the lender that in most instances tracks the Bank of England base rate.


Title Deeds

The legal documents that set out the rights and liabilities that attach to the property and state who are the legal owners. You sign this and it is then sent to the Land Registry for registration



To decide on how your estate will be managed and distributed after your death, it’s advisable to make a will. Especially when your new home will form part of your estate. This is a legal document that must be complied with.