Estate Agent Jargon explained…

30th May 2018

Estate agents, like many other professionals, are completely guilty of launching into explanations using all the terminology we are used to, and to us, it makes complete sense.


Whilst we are always happy to explain the freely used ‘jargon’, if you are thinking of selling your property the following list of terms used, together with a brief explanation may help you be one step ahead…


Terms of Business

This is the contract that an estate agent will ask you to sign in order to formally set out the terms that they will act on. Among other important components, this contract will agree exactly what the agent will and won’t do and what the agent will expect from you. This must be signed by the owner(s) of the property.



This is another word for seller.



In summary, this is when you instruct us to start work on marketing your property for you and we are always delighted to hear these words!


Take On

This is what we call the visit we make to your house to note down all the information to allow us to prepare a brochure and take the photographs.



Another name for the sales brochure. We prepare this carefully to present your property in the best light to the market.



We use this acronym because the full name is rather long. It stands for Energy Performance Certificate and every property, though there are some exemptions, requires one before it is marketed. It is a basic survey to determine the energy efficiency of your property. A good estate agent will be able to arrange this for you.



This relates to whether you own the property and the land it is set upon (freehold – the majority of houses). Or, just the building, effectively renting the land long term (leasehold – the majority of flats). ** Please note there is a huge amount of detail surrounding this topic and we are always happy to answer questions or clarify matters where needed, on a case by case basis.


Sealed Bid

Often when there are several offers made on a property an Agent will sometimes suggest that every party is given the same opportunity to come forward with their ‘best and final’ offer. Usually the offers will be submitted together with proof of funds to enable you to make a decision on which offer is the strongest.



This is when your buyer is also selling a property and they need the sale of their property to complete to enable them to use the funds to purchase your property. This appears relatively straight forward until the buyer of your buyer’s property also needs to sell their property. The more people in this so called ‘chain’, the more transactions there are which could potentially slow down the process, or worse still, cause it to fall through completely.


Many people have never sold a property before, either that or it was a long time ago. Here at George F. White our mantra is that you don’t just pay us to sell your property but you also pay us to guide you through the process and we are always happy to answer questions even if you are yet to become our client. If you are thinking of buying or selling a property please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and proactive team at one of our local offices:

Alnwick: 01665 603581
Barnard Castle: 01833 690390
Wolsingham: 01388 529579
Bedale: 01677 425301

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