When looking for a property you will often see a reference in the estate agent window or on the for-sale sign outside the house stating that the property has been “Sold STC”. What does this mean though and could you still end up buying that house although it is showing as Sold STC”?
To put it simply, Sold STC means that an offer has been accepted on the property by the seller, but it has not yet reached the stage of being legally binding. Meaning, until all the contracts and other paperwork have been checked and signed, other people can still potentially step in with an offer and secure the property for themselves.
In some cases, the term “Under offer” might be used, whilst similar to Sold STC it simply means an offer has been made but as of yet, there has been no acceptance.
SSTC when you are selling a house
If you are looking to sell your house fast, having the property listed as STC is one of the biggest steps towards completing the sale. Whilst it could still fall through, the chances are somewhat smaller than if your house was just under offer. The buyer would have had to prove they have the funds available, and your house would have been effectively removed from the market.
It will remain listed but just not as prominent as it was before the offer was accepted. From here, barring any last-minute changes of heart, you can contact your solicitor to enable the next step-conveyancing.
SSTC when you are buying a house
If you are cash house buyers, there is a little more involved. Aside from making an offer and having it accepted, a potential buyer can also start working with their solicitors to get surveys undertaken and check that all the relevant documents are correct and complete. It is of huge importance to ensure this is completed prior to contracts being signed as sometimes things may arise that cause a buyer to back out. If all has been checked and deemed suitable to proceed, it is recommended that the buyer asks the estate agent to make the listing SSTC as quick as they can. Whilst bids could still be made on the property, the chance is a lot less as other potential buyers may well feel that the exchange is almost complete.
Can an offer be made on a house that is SSTC?
As mentioned above, yes, and although it isn’t seen as all too common, gazumping is known to happen. This is where someone may come in with a higher offer than the one you have had accepted. Alternatively, it could be someone who is able to move faster than the originally intended buyer due to them having a less complicated chain to complete.
Will a property that is SSTC fall through?
It can happen and does happen. A last-minute offer from somebody else, or the uncovering of structural defects can all lead to a house sale not completing. We would always advise full transparency between both parties to ensure a smooth, and fast house sale.
How long until a house moves from SSTC to sold?
This varies dependent on a host of factors. Whilst the average is seen as 12 weeks this can all be determined by how long the legal teams take to complete their role in the house sale and how the chain is progressing. Some moves are quicker than others and it can be completed in 6 weeks.