Property auction glossary

The jargon made simple: To help you understand the new terms used around auction sales this is a simple glossary of common terms with an explanation behind each one.


Fall Of The Gavel

The fall of the gavel in the auction room is binding and it is at this point that contracts for the lot be offered are exchanged.

Final Bid

Refers to the highest bid accepted and at which a lot is knocked down if it is at or above reserve, but will be unsold if it is not.

Financial Charges

The Property Title document will show any financial charges registered against the property such as a mortgage lender. The purpose of registering a mortgage is to ensure that anybody who deals with the property will have notice that there is a mortgage which takes priority to subsequent legal interests.


A term used to describe purchasing an asset and quickly reselling (or 'flipping') it for profit.


If you own the freehold, it means that you own the building and the land it stands on outright, in perpetuity. It is your name in the land registry as “freeholder”, owning the “title absolute”.