Sold STC: What Does It Mean For Buyers And Sellers?

The real estate market is filled with jargon and abbreviations that can be confusing for both buyers and sellers. One common term you might come across is “Sold STC.”

In this blog post, we will delve into what Sold STC means, its implications for the estate agents, both sellers, and buyers, and what happens after a property is marked as Sold STC.

What does Sold STC mean?

Sold STC stands for “Sold Subject to Contract.” It is a term used in the UK real estate market to indicate that a property has an offer accepted by both the seller and, but the sale is not yet legally binding.

In other words, it means that a property is under offer, and both the buyer and the seller intend to proceed with the sale, but certain conditions must be met before the deal is finalized.

What does Sold STC mean if you’re a seller?

If you’re a seller, having your property marked as Sold STC is a positive sign. It means that you’ve received an offer that you’re willing and legally obliged to accept, and the buyer is committed to buying your property.

However, it’s important to understand that the sale is not guaranteed at this stage.

Until contracts are exchanged, either party can still back out of the deal without legal repercussions. It’s a step closer to completing the sale, but it’s not a done deal yet.

What does Sold STC mean if you’re a buyer?

For buyers, seeing a property marked as Sold STC means that someone else has made an offer that the seller has accepted. It indicates that you cannot make a new offer on the property, at least not until the current sale falls through.

It’s a frustrating position for buyers, but it also means that if you’re the one with the accepted offer, you have a certain level of security that the property won’t be sold to someone else while the sale is in progress.

What Happens After a Property Changes as Sold STC?

Once a a property listing is marked as Sold STC, the process of finalizing the sale begins. Both parties, the buyer and the seller, will work towards exchanging contracts.

This typically involves various checks, surveys, and legal processes to ensure the property is in the condition it was presented and that the sale is legally sound.

When a Property Marked as Sold STC May Actually Not Be…

While Sold STC implies that the sale is in progress, it’s essential to note that it doesn’t guarantee that the sale agreed upon deal will go through.

Several factors can cause a property marked as Sold STC to fall through. Common reasons include issues discovered during property surveys, problems with financing or mortgage approval, or even a change of heart by either the buyer or seller.

Can other buyers still make an offer on a property sold STC?

Typically, once a property is marked as Sold STC, other prospective buyers often cannot make new offers on the property. The seller has already accepted an offer, and they are legally bound to proceed with that offer unless it falls through during the contract exchange process.

Why does the ‘Sold STC’ status exist?

The Sold STC status exists to provide clarity in the real estate market. It helps potential buyers understand which properties are already under offer and reduces the likelihood of multiple buyers and agents making competing offers on the same property simultaneously.

It streamlines the buying process and reduces the risk of gazumping (where a seller accepts a higher offer from a different buyer after previously accepting one).

If a house sale is STC, is there anything to stop another buyer making an offer?

While it’s unusual for other buyers to make new offers on a property that is Sold STC, it’s not entirely impossible. In some cases, a seller may accept a backup offer, which can come into play if the initial offer falls through for any reason.

However, the backup offer would only take effect if the primary sale collapses, giving the original buyer and the backup buyer a chance to proceed with the purchase.

Can I Make an Offer on a House that Is SSTC?

You can still express your interest in a property that is Sold STC, but your offer would be considered as a backup offer. This means that if the property portals current sale falls through, the seller might entertain your offer as a replacement.

However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the chances of your backup offer being accepted depend on various factors, including the seller’s willingness and the terms of your offer.

So, you’re saying a property sold subject to a contract can still fall through?

Yes, that’s correct. A property marked as Sold STC can still fall through, and it happens more often than you might think. Various factors can lead to a sale collapsing, such as issues with property surveys, difficulties securing financing, disagreements over contract terms, or changes of mind by either the prospective buyer, or the seller.

What’s the point of stating a property is sold STC, then?

The primary purpose of stating that a property is Sold STC is to provide transparency in the real estate market. It informs potential buyers that an offer has been accepted and the sale is in progress, reducing the chances of multiple offers on the same property.

It also gives the estate agent and the buyer with the accepted offer a certain level of security, knowing that the property won’t be sold to someone else while the sale is being finalized.

Further advice on avoiding gazumping

Gazumping, where a seller accepts a higher offer from another buyer after already accepting one, can be a concern for buyers. While Sold STC status helps mitigate this risk, it’s not entirely foolproof. To reduce the chances of gazumping, buyers can take some precautions:

  1. Act quickly: Complete all necessary due diligence and paperwork promptly to move the sale along swiftly.
  2. Consider a backup offer: If you’re interested in a property that’s Sold STC, ask if the seller is open to backup offers, just in case.
  3. Build a good relationship with the seller: Establishing trust and rapport with the seller may make them less likely to entertain other offers.

Can a Property Marked as ‘Sold STC’ Fall Through?

Yes, a property marked as Sold STC can fall through. Until contracts are exchanged and all conditions are met, there is no legal obligation for either the buyer or seller to proceed with the sale.

Several factors, including issues with property surveys, financing problems, or a change of heart, can cause the sale to collapse.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Sale Once a House is SSTC?

The time it takes to complete a sale once a property is marked as Sold STC can vary widely. On average, it takes around 12-16 weeks, but this can be shorter or longer depending on factors such as the complexity of the transaction, the efficiency of the estate agency and conveyancing process, and any issues that may arise during the process.

The sold STC stage is there to benefit both buyers and sellers

Sold STC status means it benefits both buyers and sellers in the real estate market. It provides transparency, streamlines the buying process, and reduces the risk of multiple offers on the same property.

For sellers, it signifies progress toward completing the sale, and for buyers, it offers a level of security knowing that their accepted offer is being honored.

Down Valuation for Mortgage Purposes

One potential issue that can arise during the Sold STC process is a down valuation for mortgage purposes. If the property is valued lower than the agreed purchase price by the mortgage lender’s surveyor, it can create complications.

In such cases, the buyer’s solicitor may need to renegotiate the price with the seller, provide additional funds to cover the shortfall, or seek alternative financing options.

Issues with the Conveyancing Process (Transfer of Ownership)

The conveyancing process, which involves both legal fees and the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer, can sometimes be a bottleneck in the Sold STC journey. Delays in obtaining necessary documents, resolving legal issues, or addressing unexpected complications can extend the timeline of the sale. Both parties must work with experienced solicitors or conveyancers to ensure a smooth transaction.

How to Quickly Get from Sold STC to Complete

If you’re eager to complete the sale and move into your new home or finalize the sale of your property, there are a few steps you can take to expedite the process:

Stay organized: Ensure all required documents and information are readily available and provided promptly to your solicitor or conveyancer.

Communicate effectively: Maintain open communication with your solicitor, the other party, and any relevant professionals involved in the transaction.

Promptly address issues: If any issues or complications arise, address them swiftly to prevent unnecessary delays.

Plan ahead: Anticipate potential challenges and work proactively to resolve them in advance.

In conclusion, Sold STC, or Sold Subject to Contract, is an important stage in the property buying and selling process in the UK. It signifies progress toward a sale but does not guarantee its completion.

Both buyers and sellers should understand the implications and potential risks associated with this stage of the sales process and work together to navigate the process smoothly and efficiently. With the right approach and guidance, you can successfully move from Sold STC to completing your property transaction.

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