Estate Agent Terminology – What Do They Really Mean?

January 20th, 2022

When you’re buying or selling a house, there are lots of different phrases that you’ll come across that are used by estate agents, but not always explained to you fully. Often, the estate agent will use this terminology without even noticing, but it can feel frustrating if you’re left wondering what they mean – or even having to Google the terms!

I’ve put together this guide to some of the most commonly used terminology that you’ll hear when you’re buying or selling property, helping you to understand exactly what’s going on.

estate agent terminology

Are You In A Proceedable Position?

This is a phrase that is used a lot by estate agents, but what does ‘proceedable’ really mean, and how do you know whether you’re in a proceedable position?

Being in a proceedable position means that you’re ready to buy. This could mean that you’re a first time buyer, you’ve already sold your house or you don’t have a house to sell.

If your house is on the market and hasn’t yet sold, or if you’re yet to put it on the market, you aren’t in a proceedable position, as you can’t proceed with buying the next property until your own is under offer.

Have You Got An AIP? Or A MIP?

If you’re planning to get a mortgage to cover some of the costs of purchasing your new property, you’ll need an Agreement In Principle (AIP). This is sometimes referred to as a Mortgage In Principle (MIP). These are different ways of saying the same thing – there is no difference between the two.

Essentially, an agreement in principle is an agreement from a lender that they are willing to lend you the money you need to purchase a property. You can get one of these in place before you start looking at properties, so that you’re ready to go straight away if you find something you love. You’ll usually need to show your agreement in principle to the estate agent when you put an offer in on a property, as evidence that you can afford it.

To get an agreement in principle, it’s best to speak to an independent mortgage broker. Whilst you can go directly to your bank, a broker will have access to more lenders and can help you to secure the best possible deal on your mortgage – saving you valuable cash.

What Is A Cash Buyer?

You might sometimes hear estate agents talking about cash buyers. These are buyers who do not require a mortgage to purchase a property. The money is in the bank ready to go, and is not reliant on a house sale to access the funds.

For those selling a property, a cash buyer is the holy grail of buyers – they don’t need to sell a property or get a mortgage, they’re ready to go from the off. While this doesn’t guarantee a quick sale, it does often mean that there are less complications and hold ups in the process.

What Does No Chain Mean?

In property, a chain is formed when buyers become linked by house sales. This means that the chain is dependent on the sale of multiple properties.

If a buyer has no chain, this means that they do not have a property to sell. So, they might be a first time buyer, a cash buyer or a property investor.

If a house is advertised as having no onward chain, this means that the vendor is not relying on the sale to purchase another property.

What Is Best And Final Offers?

This seems to be the phrase most agents like to use when they have multiple offers on a home. In order to try and make it fair, they’ll say “we’re taking it to best and final offers”. Essentially this means you’ll be putting your absolute best bid forward and hoping for the best as you won’t know what anyone else has offered, apart from the last highest offer before they send it to best and finals.

Personally I hate best & final offers as it’s not a great experience for a buyer at all. Negotiations and finding the ‘right’ buyer seem to work better for me and my clients.

What Is A Guide Price?

More and more agents, including myself, are using guide prices. For example, you might see a property listed as having a guide price of £180,000 – £190,000.

Using a guide price rather than a set price gives the property better coverage on website portals such as Rightmove, which is why it’s so commonly used.

So, what should you offer when you want to buy a house listed as a guide price? The seller is looking for anywhere in between those figures, so you should offer what you are happy to pay. A property is only worth what you want to pay for it, so when it comes to offers you should still just bid the price that you feel comfortable with.

SSTC Meaning

SSTC is a common abbreviation in the world of property, and one that you’ll see often on sites such as Rightmove. But what does SSTC mean?

SSTC stands for Sold Subject To Contract. In real terms, this means that the seller has accepted an offer on their property and it is currently going through the conveyancing process. As with any property transaction, it doesn’t become legally binding until contracts are signed, so there is always still a chance that the property could come back onto the market.

What Does Under Offer Mean?

Similarly to SSTC, under offer means that the vendor has received an offer on the property. Whilst most estate agents will not add ‘under offer’ to a listing unless the offer has actually been accepted by the vendors, there are some estate agents who will list this even if the offer hasn’t been accepted.

So, if you see a property listed as under off and you’re interested in viewing it, it’s best to contact the estate agent and check whether the offer has been accepted.

Still Confused?

The world of property can feel confusing, especially with so many acronyms and jargon around. I’m here to make the process of buying and selling property easy and stress free for you. If you have any questions about the process of buying or selling your home, I’m always happy to talk you through it and give you all the help you need.

Whether you need help understanding the lingo, or you’re thinking of putting your property on the market, I’m here for you.

Fill out my contact form below or give me a call on 07920 097 175 and I’ll be happy to help.