In their own worlds, most estate agents use terms to describe or explain things which make absolute them! But when used in conversation with a buyer or seller it can often come across as a little confusing. Don't get me wrong, there isn’t any wrong doing there and I can assure you that your agent is not deliberately trying to confuddle you. Sometimes they do not realise that they are doing it. 

Hopefully the guide on common terminology below will give you insight into what your agent means when they say they have a 'dependant offer' or 'cash buyer' or someone is 'breaking the chain'...!

APPLICANT - the person viewing, offering and generally showing in interest in a property

VENDOR - The seller. 

FTB - First time buyer, not selling anything, no chain of sale below them. 

CHAIN - A number of houses being sold and bought at the same time, all linked to one another and reliant on each other completing. 

CASH BUYER - A buyer who should have funds in the bank account (not via a bank mortgage) and therefore not reliant on selling a house, so effectively no downward chain.

CASH FROM SALE - Very different from a cash buyer, be aware! Cash from sale means that the buyer will be using the funds from a sale, therefore there is a chain and other buyers involved. 

BTL - Buy to let investor

FLIP - A buyer looking to invest, refurbish and put back onto to market to make a profit. 

AIP/DIP/Mortgage promise - The initial phase of a mortgage, where a buyer has a preliminary assessment by a bank or lender and is issues with a certificate confirming what they can buy - Agreement in principle/Decision in principle

IFA - Independent financial advisor

DRAFTS - Draft contracts, sent by the sellers’ solicitors to the buyer’s solicitors at the start of the sales process. 

ENQUIRIES - Questions raised by buyers’ solicitor or mortgage lender about the property/land being purchased. 

QUALIFIED - Your buyer has proven their ability to finance a purchase to your agent.

VT - Virtual tour

FP - Floorplan

MEMO OF SALE - A memorandum of sale. The document prescribed by your agent which formally advises the solicitors of who is selling what to who.

PARTICULARS – A set of details of the property

FALL THROUGH – When a sale stops due to an issue with a buyer, seller, surveyor or lender.

NO CHAIN – When a property is offered for sale and the sellers are not linking another purchase to make a chain. It can mean things are simpler and offers less risk.


We hope that help a little. There are more phrases and agent terminology I can assure you. if you need any help in selling, letting, renting or buying call anytime. Anyone at Hawkins Sales & Lettings can help. 


source - David Bruckert Partner Hawkins Sales & Lettings