"What does that mean?" Your guide to home buying jargon

Your guide to home-buying jargon

Browse our jargon-buster guide to get to the bottom of the unique terms involved in purchasing a home.

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When it comes to buying your first home, you may find everyone involved is using words you’ve never heard before. Our guide aims to explain some of the more obscure terms and phrases that you may come across while purchasing a new-build home.

Anticipated completion date

This is a provisional legal completion date subject to a variety of factors within the build process.


In homeownership, a chain – either upwards or downwards – refers to the buyers or sellers that are linked during the process. This often means that several transactions must happen simultaneously; so that each buyer can complete on the home they are aiming to buy.


This is the final stage of the buying process, where the deeds and other documents are provided in return for the agreed price and subsequent legal completion.


Conveyancing refers to the process of transferring ownership of a property from one party to another.

Discount mortgages

A discount mortgage means that you will pay your lender’s standard variable rate – one that doesn’t change very often – with a fixed discount added. For example, the standard variable rate could be 4.5% and you’ve also been given a 1.5% discount, meaning you pay 3%.

Express mover

For Bellway customers, Express Mover means that our team will work with a recommended local estate agent to sell your current home – so that you can move as quickly as possible.

Exchange of contracts

When two identical contracts are exchanged – one signed by the purchaser, and one signed by the seller – both parties are then legally obligated to complete the transaction on the agreed terms.

Fixed-rate mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages mean that you pay a fixed rate throughout the entire length of your contracted period, no matter what happens with interest rates elsewhere.


Part-exchange means that you can sell your current property to us and buy one of our new homes. This means you get an independent valuation of your property, and you don’t have to pay any estate agent or advertising fees.


Snagging refers to the process of checking a new-build home for minor faults that are to be resolved by the homebuilder.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty is a tax you pay to the government when purchasing a home. The fee you actually pay will depend on the value of the home you are buying, as it is based on a certain percentage of the value.

Standard-variable-rate mortgages

Every lender has a standard variable rate that can be set at whatever level they decide. This means that it isn’t linked to the Bank of England’s base rate and can change at any time.

Tracker mortgages

With these types of mortgages, the interest rate you pay is in line with the Bank of England’s base rate, plus whatever percentage the lender provides.

Guide price 

Guide price isn’t a term usually associated with new-build homes. Instead, it is usually reserved for properties up for auction and typically means that it is the minimum price a seller wants for the home.

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