What’s does ‘Under Offer’ or ‘Sold STC’ Mean?We've updated this article for 2021!
Estate agents have a lot of terms and acronyms however, both of these terms (in this case) roughly mean the same thing:
‘Under Offer or ‘Sale agreed’
As you may expect this means that the property is currently under offer! A price has been proposed and agreed upon, this can normally be under the market value but not always. The contracts have not been exchanged at this point so there is still a possibility the sale will not proceed for potential any number of reasons.
‘Sold Subject to Contract’ (also known as SSTC)
Near enough the same as under offer, though a different terminology it means that the property had an offer, it was accepted by the seller and the paperwork is currently in the works but again has not been exchanged so there is still a possibility that sale will not be final.
When a property is listed as under offer or SSTC the estate agent who is managing the property will start to remove it from property portals like Zoopla, Rightmove etc. and their own systems as they do not want further interest in the property. This is a of a sign that they’ve (nearly) sold the property (to show off!) but to also discourage further offers. It also helps stop Gazumping which is covered below.
Can I buy a house ‘Sold subject to Contract’?
Technically you can though this is called ‘Gazumping’ where someone will give a higher offer to the property. Estate agents are legally obliged to pass on offers though they won't be too thrilled. It’s not as common as it used to be but until contracts have been exchanged nothing is final. In fact, around 30% of all deals fall though which costs a couple of thousand pounds as payments may have been needed to cover various fees like surveyors, solicitors and any brokers, builders etc. There can be a variety of reasons for a sale not going through from financial issues to things found during a survey and more.
If you have had a failed exchange and need to sell quickly we can help or at least give you advice on your options, why not get in touch? all fees are included in our price so find out your options now.
Scotland and SSTC
In Scotland, things work a little different. Once you make an offer on a property you are legally bound to it. This stops people from putting in an offer and changing their mind down the line which can be a huge cause of stress and costs with no legal reason stopping them from doing so in England. It will also be why some quick sale companies do not work with properties in Scotland.
Jonathan Rolande talks about what an estate agent means when they say a property is under offer or sold subject to contact (STC). This question was emailed in.
What does under offer mean on an estate agents board? (or what is the meaning of sold subject to contract?)
What Does Under Offer or Sold STC Mean?Estate agents use a lot of terms for under offer. It could be sale agreed, STC, sold subject to contract, sold, any kind of thing.
Estate agents use a lot of terms for under offer. It could be sale agreed, STC, sold subject to contract, sold, any kind of thing.
Essentially it all means the same thing, that somebody has agreed to buy the property and that the seller has agreed to sell it to them.
Normally at that stage an under offer board will go up on the property, the property will be taken out of the estate agents window and down from the website and portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, that's not always the case but normally is.
Of course, there is no guarantee that the sale will then proceed, up to around 25 or 30 percent of sales don't actually conclude once they've been agreed. So, there is every chance it could fall through.
But certainly sale agreed/under offer, that's the initial stage of a sale going to it's completion.