Your Helpful Conveyancing A-Z

At DC Law, we believe in making the conveyancing process as straightforward as possible. We always try where possible to avoid using any sort of jargon. However, there will be times when you come across certain terms that may not be immediately clear. That’s why we’ve put together this A-Z glossary. We hope you find it helpful.

Completion: The date on which the sale or purchase of a property is finalised. This is when the buyer obtains the keys and is allowed to move in, and is the date on which the seller is required to move out.

Contract: The contract legally binds the seller and buyer into the transaction on exchange of contracts. It contains all the terms and conditions for the property sale.

Deposit: This is the down payment which we will collect from you as a buyer prior to exchange of contracts. It is held by the seller’s conveyancer between exchange of contracts and completion.

Enquiries: This is just a fancy word for ‘questions’. They could be questions asked to the seller, landlord or to a conveyancer. Exchange of contracts cannot take place until all the answers to the enquiries are received. There is more about enquiries on our conveyancing process page.

Exchange of Contracts: This is the point at which the contract between the seller and the buyer becomes legally binding and the completion date is fixed. At this stage the parties involved will be able to start taking steps to organise their move, such as booking removals companies. There is more about the things you’ll need to do at this stage in our moving home checklist.

Mortgage: A form of loan secured to a property. It is most often used to purchase the property itself. A property cannot be sold until the loan is fully repaid. There is more about mortgages on our mortgage advice page.

Post Completion: After completion, any mortgages on the property will be repaid, any Stamp Duty Land Tax due will be paid to HM revenue & Customs and the change in ownership will be registered at the Land Registry. A copy of the updated title will be sent to the buyer a few weeks after completion.

Searches: These are questions posed to the relevant authorities to find out if there is anything which might affect the use and enjoyment of the property, or anything that might prevent you from obtaining a mortgage on it. You can read more on our searches page.

Sold STC: When the seller of a property accepts an offer, it is ‘Sold subject to contract’. This means that anyone can withdraw from the transaction until exchange of contracts, which is why we try to get everything ready for exchange as soon as possible in order to give you certainty at the earliest stage.