Are you guilty of any of these? Estate Agency Jargon.

While researching this article I found a few dictionary definitions of jargon that stood out.

  • Special words and ​phrases which are used by ​particular ​groups of ​people, ​especially in ​their ​work and industry. Often not understood by ‘outsiders.’
  • Unintelligible or meaningless talk or writing.
  • Utter shite spouted by someone who doesn’t have the brains or energy to explain stuff simply.

I like the third explanation best. Working in Public Relations and communications means I hear a lot of jargon. It’s painful, I detest it but if I’m really honest I visit jargon land every so often.

Being a PR bloke who specialises in working with estate agents means I get to hear even more jargon than most. A double whammy if you like.

So I’ve come up with this quick 11 point jargon buster for the estate agency industry – How many of these do you use on a regular basis when speaking with an applicant / vendor?

  • Vendor – The person selling a place.
  • The ‘applicant’ – The person buying the place.
  • Sole agent – Not to be confused with soul agent which would refer to a fan of Luther Vandross and James Brown who sells and lets properties. Basically this means the only agency selling the place.
  • Chain free – This should be an easier place to buy due to the lack of people, solicitors, agents, surveyors etc involved.
  • Mortgage Offer – The lender’s letter proving you have a loan for the money to buy the place.
  • Conveyancing – The legal stuff that needs doing when you are buying a place.
  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) – The piece of paper which shows how energy efficient (drafty or insulated) the place is.
  • Subject to contract – You’ve agreed to buy the place, they’ve accepted your offer but everything is still in the lap of the gods until exchange of contracts (or if you are really unlucky completion) happens.
  • Stamp duty – The Government tax which makes buying your place a lot more expensive especially if it’s a holiday home in Cornwall or a studio flat to rent out in Dalston(as of April 2016).
  • Exchange – When everything is legally agreed by everyone involved and you can swap contracts making buying the place a whole lot more likely. At this point you can have a drink.
  • Completion – The moment the place becomes yours. Keys in your hand, kiss the agent, order a take away and have another, larger drink.

I have a love / hate relationship with jargon.

I hate it, but love hearing or reading it. It’s weird.

So if you can add to my I Beg Your Jargon Hall of Fame please use written electronic correspondence techniques to engage me with your content.

Or just email me examples of jargon at

Here’s to your next…. moment of extreme joy when someone gives you the go ahead to sell / let their place AKA…… instruction.

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