Moving house is stressful enough, but coming to terms with a whole bunch of new words and phrases can make the journey even harder to navigate. If you’re thinking about buying or selling your property or perhaps you’re already mid-way through, check out our essential property buying glossary.

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All vendors need to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for their property. This gives buyers an indication of how energy-efficient the property is. EPCs need to be carried out by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor.

Exchange Date and Completion Date

It’s important that you understand the difference between these two dates. The Exchange Date is the day that the contracts are exchanged, and a set amount of the money (usually 10%) is released to the seller. At this point, it is nearly impossible to back out of a sale. The Completion Date, on the other hand, is when the deeds have been officially changed, the seller receives all the money and the property is legally yours. This is the day you can get the keys and move in.

Solicitor or Conveyancer

A solicitor is a law professional who takes care of the legal administration of a sale. A conveyancer is a term used for a solicitor who deals solely with property selling and buying. Ideally this person/team will be local to you and will have some experience of your particular purchase time. For example if you are looking at Park Homes for Sale in Gloucestershire such as you will want a conveyancing specialist who is aware of the legalities of leasehold properties.

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STC stands for Subject to Contract, and you will usually see it written as Sold: STC. This means that the vendor has agreed to an offer but the sale is not yet legally binding. A property remains Sold STC until the Exchange Date.


A survey of the property you want to buy will need to be carried out to ensure that it is structurally sound. A bank or building society will demand a survey in order to give you the mortgage.


This is just another word for seller.

It’s also important to know that should you encounter a word or phrase you do not understand, you can ask either your estate agent or your conveyancing solicitor to explain it to you in greater detail.