Have you ever been confused by Estate Agent jargon, or not known where to start with your property search? If the answer is yes then read on.

Do you know your Service Charges from your Ground Rents? Your Gazumping from your Gazundering? Your Freehold from your Leasehold?

The world of property is complicated and full of jargon which only serves to help Estate Agents confuse us. What do you need to know to get one step ahead in your search through the nooks and crannies of this intimidating marketplace?

Ben Procter, MD of Oxford Property Consulting, gives his advice on how to navigate your way through the maze.

Where to start?

Make a list of what you are looking to find in a property and why you are moving. If you can pinpoint why you are moving it will help you determine where to move to. Think about what you like and dislike in your current home.

Your list of requirements should contain the 3 main variables; price, location and property. Try and be realistic about what you must have in your next property and what you would like to have. Pick out a few areas you would look in and why you would look there and be realistic on your budget. Don’t stretch yourself too far with your purchase as there will be costs you have forgotten about.

Where to look?

A good place to start is on the internet. Most properties make their way online before they are sold, so you can get a good idea of what is available and how much it is going to cost you.

However, there is no substitute for a bit of graft. Speak to all the agents in the locality of your search. They will know of properties which may be about to come to market. The more you call them, the closer you will be to the forefront of their mind for new opportunities.

How to look?

When you are considering online properties remember that, although agents will try and portray them in the best light possible, it is always better to view in person if you can. You may be able to find space for an additional bedroom and that kitchen which isn’t quite right could be changed with a lick of paint.

When you are “on site” imagine the house with your own possessions in place. Just because a house isn’t quite how you like it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t be with a bit of creativity.

Useful hints

During your search your requirements will change; by looking at different options the importance you placed on the criteria when you first started won’t remain the same. Don’t be afraid to re-visit your initial list and make alterations.

Remember that you are unlikely to find everything that you want. There is likely to have to be some compromise somewhere along the line. Make sure that what you do compromise on is something you can live with (or without).

If you do find the ideal property move hard and fast. The best properties don’t hang around for long. The odds are that if you love it someone else will love it as well.

Don’t forget about all the costs you might forget; stamp duty, solicitor’s fees, removals, storage, cleaning costs, building works, decoration/interior design, new furniture. There are lots of things to remember and they do add up.

If all the things to consider seem too much then there are professionals who help with your move. Buying agents will hold your hand throughout the whole process and make sure you don’t fall foul of the pitfalls. They will do the leg work for you and will ensure you get the best advice possible.

If you think you could benefit from saving time, hassle and money on your next property search then contact us at or call Ben on 07979191691.

If you haven’t sold yet, why not read a few tips on how best to sell your house.