Next Auction

Jargon Buster

There’s plenty of confusing and unique terms that can come up at auction. Our list below explains the most important of these to get you ready for auction day.



Changes or extra conditions imposed on the property that differs from the original information detailed in the catalogue

Agreement in Principle

A lender takes basic information and performs a credit search to determine a figure that ‘in principle’ it would be able to lend.


A public sale in which goods or property are sold to the highest bidder.


A person who conducts an auction by announcing Lots, controlling the bidding, accepting bids and declaring the sale of goods.



The amount that the bidder offers to pay for a property at auction.

Building/structural survey

A property inspection by a chartered surveyor, who compiles a report from a structural viewpoint; older properties may require a survey to secure a loan and a building/structural survey can be prepared at the same time as a mortgage valuation. Different levels of reports are available.



The property changes hands, the amount bid for the property is paid in full and the transfer signed.

Completion date

WA legal document binding the buyer and seller together and agreeing the terms to complete the sale.


When completion is finalised, this date can be used for apportionment and calculating interest;

failure to complete on this specific date can result in you losing your deposit.


A solicitor or licenced conveyancer, who is qualified to administer the legal process of buying/selling a property.


Rules and regulations controlling the property in its title deeds or lease/leasehold agreement.



Legal title documents showing ownership of a property.


A sum paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts during the conveyancing.


Charges incurred by a solicitor on behalf of their Client during a property transaction e.g. Stamp Duty, Land Registry and/or search fees etc.


Necessary repairs required on a property during or at the sale of a tenancy or lease, resulting from poor condition or neglect.


Exchange of Contracts

For the successful bidder, the sale is binding on the fall of the hammer – contracts are signed and exchanged, legally committing the buyer and seller to the property transaction at an agreed price and terms.



The Auctioneer uses this hammer to close the bidding on a Lot.

Guide Price

Guide prices are provided as an indication of a vendor’s minimum expectation and the level at which the reserve is set.  Properties may not always sell within this guide and this figure may change at any time prior to the auction.  The sale price will be dependent upon bidding in the auction room and on the Vendors’ instructions.

Ground rent

The annual fee imposed by the freeholder to the leaseholder of the property.


“In the room”

A bid by someone present in the saleroom.


Joint Auctioneer

Another property professional who works jointly with us to market and sell a Vendor’s property.


Land Registry fee

The amount payable to the Land Registry to register the ownership of a property.


A legal document detailing how the property freeholder or leaseholder owner lets the premises for a set time period; following this term, the ownership may change back to the freeholder or the superior leaseholder.


Signifies that property and/or buildings ownership is in the form of a lease agreement.

Legal Pack

The Vendor’s solicitor collates copies of legal documents for you and your solicitor to make an informed decision on your property purchase.

Listed building

Listed buildings are subject to special architectural or historic interest – this means permission is needed from local government before they can be altered/demolished.

Local search

The buyer’s solicitor contacts the local council to investigate future development issues or outstanding enforcements, which may affect a property or immediate surrounding vicinity.


Each individual property entry is listed in our catalogue as a ‘Lot’.


Maintenance charge

Also known as a ‘service charge’, this is a fee levied by the freeholder and charged to the leaseholder/tenant for maintaining external or internal parts of a building.


Negative equity

When the value of a property is less than any mortgage outstanding.


Some new build homes offer a guarantee, which covers specific property defects over a set time period.



An amount of money, which a potential buyer offers for a property.

Open market value

If a property is available for sale, this figure is its realistic value.

Open viewings

Property viewings are held in advance of the auction, open to the public and attended without charge; see our website or catalogue for dates/times.


Peppercorn ground rent

A nominal rent, which is of low value paid annually.

Pre-auction bid

An offer submitted to the Auctioneer in writing prior to Auction Day. If accepted, the buyer must be ready to exchange contracts and pay a deposit immediately.

Private treaty

This is the most common method of sale adopted by the majority of estate agents. A price is agreed between the seller and buyer. Their solicitors draw up a contract of sale which can often take between 8-12 weeks to be concluded.

Proxy bid

If you are unable to attend the auction in person, we as the Auctioneers, can bid on your behalf after you have contacted us prior to the auction and completed an official proxy bidding form. This is then returned to us with a deposit cheque to meet the specified deadline. The form will detail your maximum bid, which we will action up to, but not beyond.



If mortgage payments have not been met subject to the mortgage agreement, then the lender can take possession of a property.


Each property will be sold subject to a reserve price, which will be set within, or below, the guide price range or no more than 10% above a single figure guide. This is a confidential figure set between the Vendor and the Auctioneer and is a figure below which the Auctioneer cannot sell the property



Information on the property and location is held by the local authority or Land Registry and can be sourced via a “search”.


A lawyer who commonly deals with any legal matter including court proceedings.

Special Conditions of Sale

The rights and responsibilities of a buyer and seller.

Stamp Duty

The price paid for a property may reach a threshold set by the government, which means tax will be payable.


A qualified professional, who is commissioned to survey/report on a property.


Telephone bid

One of our team will telephone a Client from the saleroom to bid on certain Lots and relay back specified amounts to the Auctioneer to help secure a sale.


Possession of a property by a tenant on a fixed timescale and conditions.

Tenancy agreement

The rights of a tenant and landlord are protected under this agreement.


As set out in an agreement, this is the individual who has temporary possession of a property.


Outlines the conditions on which a property is held, e.g. term of lease..

Third party bidding

Someone who attends the auction bids on behalf of another person or company.

Title Deeds

Documents detailing the legal ownership of a property.

Transfer Deeds

The transfer of legal ownership from the seller to a purchaser, which is documented by the Land Registry.


Under offer

A property’s status after an offer has been accepted by the seller; it normally refers to the period before signing of contracts.



For mortgage purposes, this is the survey of a property to establish its value.



A vendor may change their mind and withdraw a property prior to auction, or the Auctioneer may withdraw the property from auction through failure to meet its reserve price.

Other benefits of selling at auction:

  • No doubts on sale price and timescale.
  • Immediate and binding contract created on the fall of the gavel.
  • No negotiation – neither the seller nor buyer can withdraw.
  • Sale process from instruction to exchange only takes a few weeks.