When buying your first home, there’s already a lot that can seem overwhelming, not to mention the various jargon you will come across as you proceed through the home-buying process. We’ve compiled a glossary of the most frequently used terms and phrases to help you. If there is anything else that you need help with, or clarification on, our friendly team is here to help – simply visit our Contact us page to get in touch with us.


This is the finalising of the sale of the property, when the deposit is transferred and you have legal ownership of your new home.


The contract is actually two identical legal document(s) agreeing to the sale of the property by Beech Grove Homes and the purchase of the property by you. At the exchange of contracts, one is signed by the seller (Beech Grove Homes) and the other by you, the purchaser. It is at this point of exchange that the contract becomes binding.


The process of the legal transfer of a property from one owner to another. When you are buying with Beech Grove Homes, this is the transfer of one of our properties for sale to you, the new owner.


These are all the legal documents relating to the property.


The part payment of the purchase price of the property paid by you, the buyer, at the time of exchanging contracts (or conclusion of missives in Scotland). This will be agreed as part of your mortgage discussions with your chosen lender.

Disposition or Feu Disposition (Scotland only)

The legal document which transfers ownership of a property to you, the buyer.

Energy Performance Certificate

As a seller of properties in England, Beech Grove Homes is required to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate which gives a breakdown of the energy efficiency of the property. This is a useful insight as you can use this information to see how costly utility bills are likely to be in your new home.

Home Report (Scotland only)

This report is required as part of the selling process of any property in Scotland. Beech Grove Homes will provide you with this home report pack, which includes a single survey, an energy report and a property questionnaire.

Land Registry Fees

Paid through your solicitor, these are the fees incurred in order to register your ownership of the property with the Land Registry. The scale of fees is fixed by the Government and will depend on the value of the property you are purchasing.

Local Authority Search

Carried out by your solicitor, this establishes if your new home is likely to be affected by any local planning decisions. It can be useful in giving you a picture of your home and how it may be affected in the future.

Missives (Scotland only)

This is the name given to a contract in Scotland. At the time of exchange, they will be signed and submitted by you, the purchaser, and Beech Grove Homes the seller. At the point of exchange, you are legally bound to complete the transaction and purchase the property.


Most people will need to take out a mortgage – or loan – to buy a home, whether that’s an apartment or a house. There are many different types of mortgages available, so it’s worthwhile consulting a mortgage advisor or discussing your options with your bank.

Mortgage Protection Policy or Mortgage Payment Protection Insurance

Often arranged or offered at the time you take out your mortgage, mortgage protection is insurance to cover the mortgage payments should you not be able to pay (for example in the event of ill-health or redundancy), or die before the end of the mortgage term. Usually, these policies are flexible and you can choose the level of cover you would like.

Mortgage Valuation Survey

Before they can make you a mortgage offer, your lender will conduct a survey that values the property you are intending to purchase against the listed price of the property. You will pay a fee, which is dependent on the purchase price of the property.

Settlement (Scotland only)

This is the final element of the house buying process, where the deeds of the new house and other documents are handed over by the seller to you the purchaser, in return for the agreed price.

Stamp Duty

This is the Government tax on the purchase price of a property, and applies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax is paid instead. Your solicitor will automatically handle payment on your behalf and the amount you pay depends on the purchase price of your new home. More information on what you can expect to pay can be found on the GOV.uk website.

Sold subject to contract

Sold 'Subject to Contract' (STC) means that Beech Grove Homes, the seller and you, the buyer, are proceeding with the sale but the paperwork is not yet complete. At this point, there is no legally-binding agreement for the purchase.

Title Deeds

The legal documents describing the rights and liabilities that attach to the property and prove ownership of property. Your solicitor will obtain these for you as part of the conveyancing process.



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