Over the years we have received a stack of questions regarding the best way to deal with estate agents. Especially their terminology. Property terms, like the ones used by estate agents, can be a potential minefield for any new aspiring property investor. We also get asked how to land the right ‘type’ of estate agent in order to get the best ‘bang for your buck’ property deals.

To be honest we don’t focus much more than 25% of our income generating deal time on newspaper ads, window cards, postcards, hoardings, bandit signs (low conversions), or anything else that is ‘low return on time’ to do. We find it often labour intensive and it gets high cost per conversion. If the Progressive Property co-founders want more deals, they’ll turn the machine on.

But almost 80% of their property deals come DIRECTLY from estate agents. We attribute sourcing deals through estate agents as one of the key factors in leveraging and shortcutting our success.

So we thought as we’ve had lots of questions so why not do a bit of estate agent sourcing 101 for you.

We have created start a glossary of property terms you can use to learn the lingo of estate agents. The following terms are language you can use with agents to show knowledge and ‘authority’ and to help you avoid getting ‘Binned’.

For many of you who deal with estate agents, these property terms are common knowledge. For new aspiring property investors they will go you an insight into world of property terms.

7 day notice

The 7 day notice period is the notice period required by the banks before exchange of contracts on a repossessed property.

Best and final

When a property has more than one interested party and negotiations are going back and forth with both parties increasing, a situation may occur where sealed bids are offered. “Best and final” is the estate agents’ term for this. Estate agents should prevent an out and out bidding war be requesting a potential buyers ‘best and final offer‘.

BMV (Below Market Value)

BMV is an acronym which stands for Below Market Value. We use this term when teaching people how to buy property below the value that the market current suggests. We do not recommend that you use this term with estate agent as they may not know what it means.


A mortgage broker is a person who acts on behalf of an individual or business in order to broker a mortgage. The existence of a mortgage broker is predicated on them finding a bank to lend a specific loan someone is seeking.

The UK currently has 2 forms of mortgage broker markets; regulated and unregulated. Regulated mortgaged brokers lend to private individuals. Unregulated mortgage brokers lend to businesses and investors.

UK mortgage brokers are governed by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). This requires UK mortgage brokers to describe their range of services accurately to consumers.


The term ‘deposit’ refers to the amount of money you need to put down to purchase a house. When applying for a mortgage you will need to put a deposit down as a percentage value of the property.

In the UK, banks offer you a mortgage based off the remaining amount of the property minus this deposit. For example, if you put a 20% deposit on a £150,000 property, your deposit is £30,000. As a result, your mortgage is for the value of £120,000.

The more deposit you can put down the lower amount you will pay for your mortgage due to the lower overall costs and saved interest payments. The maximum mortgage you can take out is 95%. Meaning your minimum deposit is 5%.


DIP and AIP are acronyms used when applying for a mortgage. AIP stands for ‘Agreement in Principle. DIP stands for ‘Decision in Principle. A decision in principle or agreement in principle is an indication from your mortgage lender of how much you may be able to borrow to purchase a property.

You need to remember that a decision in principle is NOT legally binding. Following a more detailed assessment of your finances, spending, credit rating etc. the amount offered could change. A decision in principle may include a soft credit search but remember, a soft credit search won’t affect your credit score.

These property terms are usually interchangeable terms as well as the property terms:

  • Mortgage promise
  • A mortgage in principle


Downval is a shortened combination of the phrase ‘down valuation’. A down valuation is when a buyer’s mortgage surveyor values the property in question for less than the agreed price. The difference between their new valuation and the agreed sum is the down valuation.

For example, if you agree to buy a property for £150,000 but the mortgage surveyor values the property at £135,000 you have had a down valuation of £15,000.

Due to the process of buying a property, you could easily be 5 weeks into the sale before you know a down valuation has occurred. The Progressive co-founders have even heard of a down valuation of 50%.


In the UK, Freehold is a form of property ownership. With a freehold, a person or organisation has outright ownership of a property and the land on which it is built. With freehold there is no expiration of the rights, you have ownership forever.


Freeholder is the noun used to describe the person who owns the freehold.

FTB Property

FTB is another acronym estate agents used and stands for First Time Buyer. FTB property stands for First Time Buyer Property. The definition of a first time buyer is someone has never owned a property before in any capacity.

Gazundering and Gazumping

Gazundering and gazumping are two of the quirkier property terms you’ll come across. One is applicable to sellers, the other to buyers.

Gazundering applies to property sellers and is when you have an offer reduced at the eleventh hour. Gazumping applies to property buyers. You are ‘gazumped’ if you are outbid on a property by another prospective buyer.

Guide Price

When buying property you will come across the property term ‘guide price’. A guide price is exactly that, a guide. It is usually the minimum a seller wants for their property.

You could refer to a guide price as a ‘sellers valuation‘. Remember it is a guide, you can offer above or below this value.

HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy)

HMO is a property term which is becoming ever more common in the UK property market. A way of maximising your cash flow, HMO stands for House of Multiple Occupancy. HMOs can sometimes be referred to a multi-let property.

A property is an HMO if both of following criteria apply:

  • At least 3 tenants live in the property forming more than 1 household
  • The tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

If more than 3 people live in the property forming more than 1 household, your HMO is classified as a large HMO.

House of multiple occupancy properties


A leasehold is provided for a property where the land it is situated on is owned by someone else. You can only own a leasehold property for a fixed period of time.

This period is a legal agreement between yourself and the landlord (the freeholder). Once the lease comes to an end, ownership of the property must be returned to the landlord/freeholder.

Most UK flats are leasehold properties. Some houses can be leaseholds as well, mainly if purchased through a shared ownership scheme.

Lister or Valuer

A lister, or valuer, is the agent who values properties before they are put on the market. It is their job to determine how much a property should be marketed for.

LO (Lease Option)

In the UK property market, the term LO stands for Lease Option. A lease option is a legal arrangement that allows you to control the property (and create revenue from it) with the right to purchase it at a later date. It’s important to remember it is a right to purchase, not an obligation, so you can walk away.

A lease option is actually two separate arrangements built into one:

  • The lease: You agree on a monthly payment to the property’s owner. In exchange, you’ll manage the property and rent it to tenants for a profit.
  • The option: this is the price you agree to pay should you wish to purchase the property later

LTV (Loan To Value)

The property term LTV is used in relation to your mortgage and stands for for Loan To Value. Loan to value is a key factor when considering whether to buy property, remortgage, release equity or sell your property.

Loan to Value is the amount of your mortgage in relation to the value of your property. LTV is represented as a percentage figure and reflects the amount of your property which is mortgaged.

An example would be if you have a £150,000 mortgage on a house worth £200,000. This would mean you have a loan to value of 75%. This means you have equity worth £50,000.

MO (Mortgage Offer)

MO is an estate agents abbreviation for Mortgage Offer. It is a property term used in writing and we do not recommend saying it to people.

MTG (Mortgage)

MTG is real estate short hand for Mortgage.


Neg refers to the property term Negotiator. The negotiator is the agent who sells properties.

Offers over

Offers over is general property term as means the same as OIEO which we have covered further down this list.

OMV (Over Market Value)

OMV stands for Over Market Value and is the opposite to BMV (Below Market Value). For example, if a property is listed for £150,000 and you pay £175,000, you paid £25,000 Over Market Value (OMV).

OIEO (Offers In Excess Of)

A property term relating to the price a seller wishes to get for their property, OIEO stands for Offers in Excess of. This means that they want offers in excess of the price advertised.

For example, if a house is priced OIEO £150,000 the agent only wants offers in excess of £150,000.

OIRO (Offers In Region Of)

OIRO stands for Offers in Region Of and is a property term used when a firm price isn’t set for a property. This is like a guide price and offers could be over or under this.

For example an estate agent could market a property for OIRO £150,000. So you could offer more or less than this amount, its a ballpark figure.

Part Exchange

Part exchange refers to a property that is taken in as part payment for another property. A part exchange is usually used during the purchase of a new home.


Probate is a widely used property term that refers to the legal process under which the estate of someone who has recently passed is managed. Most estates include some form of property which is normally the most recent residential home.

The term ‘probate property’ has become a commonplace term when dealing with situations like this. Probate can and does regularly include other elements beyond property but since we are concentrating on property, we’ll stick to that here.

Peppercorn rent

A property term used in legal realms, ‘peppercorn’ is a metaphor that is used to refer to a small cash payment, or some other nominal fee, which is used to satisfy the basic requirements for the production of a legal contract.

Peppercorn rent is a nominal rent amount, which can be as little as £1, paid in order to form a legally binding lease contract. This forms the relationship between a landlord and the tenant.


Reneg is a shortening of the phrase ‘renegotiate‘ and means when someone wishes to renegotiate the price of a property. We recommend that you don’t use this one as reneg has the negative connotation of withdrawing.


The phrase Repo stands for repossessed property. A repossessed property is a property in which the home owner has defaulted on their mortgage payments to the lender and the lender has in turn taken the house back. Once repossessed, the lender, usually a bank, will attempt to sell the property in order to recoup the money which they are still owed.


Reval is used in conjunction with the property term downval. After a surveyor has down valued a property, another surveyor is then instructed to revaluate the property. Reval is a core component during the mortgage process should the initial surveyor believe the property is over valued.

Sealed Bids

Sealed bids are the same as best and final offers. Using the terminology ‘sealed bids‘ can be used to infer that these are final offers and won’t be known to the other party.

Shared Ownership

Shared ownership is a scheme in which you buy a portion of a property from the builder or housing association and pay rent on the remaining value. In theory, a shared ownership property costs less than other forms of mortgages.

When purchasing a shared ownership property, you can buy between 10% and 75% of the property in question and then pay rent to the landlord for the share they own.


Sols is an abbreviation of the word solicitor and it normally own used in written form. When buying property or selling property you will need solicitors in order to get legally binding contracts sorted. At Progressive Property we have a range of Progressive Approved Solicitors that we can recommend you use.

STPP (Subject to Planning Permission)

SSTP is a property term for ‘subject to planning permission’ and means a property is being sold that you could extend in the form of an extension etc. Using ‘subject to planning permission’ would be used as a disclaimer by the selling agent in case planning permission is denied.

STS (Subject To Survey)

STS stands for ‘subject to survey’ and is an estimation of the land size that is sold with the property. The term is mainly used with regards to land but can be used just with property in the case of having a surveyor revalue the property.

STS (Subject To Sale)

Another STS acronym is ‘Subject To Sale‘. Subject to sale in essence a conditional offer to purchase a property on the basis that you sell your current property.

Remember, you can’t make a seller wait forever as you search for a buyer for your property so the whole process needs to be carefully managed.

SSTC (Sold Subject To Contract)

SSTC is an acronym which stands for ‘Sold Subject To Contract‘. This means the same as under offer so the vendor has now opted to halt all viewings on the property. With subject to contract, an offer has been accepted on the property but the paperwork and contracts have not yet been completed. At this stage, no money will have changed hands so at this stage nothing is legally binding and the price could still be negotiated.

It is worth remembering that at the subject to contract stage, the purchase of a property can still fall through. This could be due to a host of reasons including a down valuation by the valuation survey. The seller or buyer could have simply changed their minds. According to research around 25% of some fail to complete at this stage.

Sold subject to contract


The phrases tied up and tying up are quite informal terms used when a property has been accepted by a vendor.

Under Offer

Under offer refers to a property where an offer has been made but hasn’t necessarily been tied up yet. When under offer a property can still be in negotiation.


A vendor is the title given to the seller of a property and will sometimes be referred to as a property vendor. A vendor does not necessarily own the property in question.

The current property owner may have a mortgage, in which case the bank will own the majority of the. The vendor acts on the homeowner’s behalf to sell a property with their permission.

Vendor Paid Deposit

A vendor paid deposit is an amount of deposit that is gifted by the vendor to aid the purchaser in buying a property.

Our final thoughts on UK property terms

This property term glossary will help you speak and understand the agents’ lingo and colloquialisms and will go a good way to getting your foot in the door to be the ‘Banker’ who gets to cherry pick the best deals.

Use this information as it will be very valuable to you. Hopefully this guide has helped you get to grips with the terms used when buying or selling property. Have we missed a property term you’ve been told by an estate agent? Then let us know and we’ll create a new and updated property terms blog post in the future!

Do you have a question or wish to find out more? Then simply get in touch with us today and a member of our team will be on hand to help.