Under Offer vs Sold STC – What Is The Difference?
When you are looking for a house to purchase, you might see properties that are Under Offer or Sold Subject To Contract. These terms can feel confusing if you haven’t seen them before, especially as they sound so similar. But what exactly do these terms mean and is there a difference between the two?
In this article, we will explain the meaning of both these terms and help you to understand the differences when it comes to Under Offer vs Sold STC. This will give you a clear understanding of what you are looking for when finding your ideal property.
What Does It Mean When A House Is Under Offer?
When you are searching for your dream house, you might be disappointed to find that it is listed as being Under Offer, but what does that actually mean?
If a property is listed as being Under Offer, this means that the vendors have received an offer on the property. Sometimes this wording can be used to mean that the selling is not fully happy with the offer. It could be that the potential buyers are not yet in a position to proceed (for example, they haven’t yet sold their own house). Or that the offer is lower than the seller is willing to accept.
However, some estate agents may also use this wording when an offer has been accepted on the property. If you are unsure whether a property has had an offer accepted, it is always best to check with the estate agent.
What Does It Mean When It Says Sold STC?
Sold STC is another common phrase you will see when you are browsing property websites such as Rightmove, but what does it mean and when it is used?
Sold Subject To Contract, often abbreviated to SSTC or Sold STC, means that an offer has been accepted by the vendor of the property and the sale is currently going through the conveyancing process. Therefore, contracts have not yet been exchanged on the sale.
Difference Between Under Offer And SSTC
Many people wonder whether there is really a difference between Under Offer and Sold STC, or whether they are two different terms for the same principle.
Both of these terms are used to describe a property that has received an offer from one or more potential buyers. The difference comes in how these terms are used by estate agents.
Sold Subject To Contract, or STTC, is only used when a vendor has accepted an offer on the property. At this point, the sale begins the conveyancing process which can take anything between six weeks and several months to complete. The sale will not become legally binding until contracts have been exchanged, so the sale could potentially fall through at any time whilst the property is Sold Subject To Contract.
Although Under Offer can be used to mean the same thing as SSTC, it can also be used to convey that the vendor has received an offer that they are still considering. This could mean that the offer is below the asking price or that the potential buyer is not yet proceedable.
Does Under Offer Mean Sold?
You might be wondering whether a house that is listed as being Under Offer is sold. The answer isn’t as clear cut as it may seem.
First of all, it is important to note that a property sale is not complete until all paperwork is complete, and contracts have been exchanged. This can take several weeks or even months to be completed. Until this point, the house is not legally sold and the sale could fall through at any point.
Whether or not Under Offer means that a sale has been agreed will depend on the estate agent that is marketing the property. Whilst many estate agents use Under Offer interchangeably with Sold Subject To Contract, others use the term to describe a property that has received unsatisfactory offers and is still on the market.
If you are interested in a property that is listed as being Under Offer, it is best to check with the estate agent that is marketing the property to find out whether the property is still available for viewings.
Can I View A Property Under Offer?
As the sale of a property does not become legally binding until contracts have been exchanged, it is still possible to view properties that are Under Offer. This is because the sale is not yet complete, so it is still possible for the vendor to choose to accept a new offer.
However, it will be up to the vendor whether they decide to accept further viewings after they have accepted an offer on their property. While some vendors may be happy to accept further viewings in the hope of securing a higher offer, others may be happy with their current buyer and unwilling to accept viewings.
Can You Make An Offer On A House That Is Under Offer?
If your dream house has been listed as Under Offer, you might be wondering whether you can still make an offer on the property.
In England and Wales, a house remains on the market until the point at which contracts are exchanged. This is when the sale becomes legally binding, so until this point, the buyer or seller is able to back out of the sale without a penalty. This means that you can make an offer on a property up until the date that contracts are exchanged, even if it is listed as being Under Offer or Sold Subject To Contract.
If you make an offer on a property that is already Under Offer or Sold Subject To Contract, the vendor of the property will then need to weigh up whether to accept your offer or to continue with the existing buyer.
When a property sale has already made considerable progress through the conveyancing process, it is likely that the vendor will choose to stick with their existing buyers. However, if your offer is significantly higher or you are able to move faster than their existing buyers, they may decide to accept the new offer.
Can A Seller Accept Two Offers?
An offer on a property does not become legally binding until the point at which contracts are exchanged. For this reason, a vendor can choose to accept any other offers that their estate agent puts forward, until the contracts have been exchanged. If a higher offer is received, this is known as gazumping.
Are Estate Agents Obliged To Pass On Offers?
An estate agent is legally obliged to pass on all offers that are received on a property, up until the point at which contracts are exchanged. Even if a property is already Under Offer or Sold Subject To Contract, any offers that are presented to the estate agent must be relayed to the vendor for consideration.
How Many Property Sales Fall Through?
It is common for property sales to fall through during the conveyancing process. This could be a result of a number of reasons including the vendor or buyer changing their mind, a higher offer being accepted, issues being discovered during searches or a survey or a change in financial circumstances.
On average, 15% of properties listed as Under Offer or Sold Subject To Contract come back onto the market as a result of a fallen through sale.
Under Offer and Sold Subject To Contract may seem like very similar concepts, and it is true that there are many similarities between these two terms. However, it is important to remember that different estate agencies will use these terms slightly differently.
If you’ve got questions when it comes to Under Offer vs Sold STC, we’re here to help. Simply give us a call or send us a message today.