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What Does Under Offer Mean?

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

You may have noticed that in the world or property, there are lots of varying terms, some, crystal clear in their meaning, others causing some confusion.

One you will see a lot is “under offer”. To potential buyers that have not yet put in an offer, this term may sound a little like a deterrent. A part of the sale process that might mean their offer wouldn’t be worth submitting.  You may be surprised to know that isn’t the case. To explain further we took a look at the term and the connotations of having a property under offer.

Read on to find out what happens when a property is under offer.

What does it mean when a house goes under offer?

We thought it best to start by explaining exactly what the term means. After all, that is why you reached this page right?

In its most basic terms, under offer simply means that an offer has been put on the property that the seller sees as acceptable but has not been accepted or rejected. The offer is simply being considered meaning it is possible for other offers to still come in for the owner to evaluate.

Why does property go under offer?

The reasons for this can be multiple. It could simply be that an offer has come in and the property owner is just waiting to see if any that are more attractive are proposed. Sometimes, estate agents may think that using the term may spur other interested parties into moving faster in trying to secure the property.

The homeowner may end up considering the offer, as we have said previously, in anticipation of more offers coming in. This may not be the only reason though, the seller could be dubious about the length of the property chain the potential buyer has. Therefore, they let this offer sit on the table whilst assessing what the best move for them as sellers might be.

Does under offer mean the offer is accepted?

It may sound like it does. In fact, under offer doesn’t mean an offer has been accepted at all. It simply means the offer is in consideration.

It may surprise many people to know that a property transaction is not secured until the contracts are exchanged.  It is totally plausible for a homeowner to have several offers to consider and have none of them result in the sale of the property.

Is under offer the same as sold STC?

Adding another term into the mixture of estate agent jargon certainly doesn’t make life any easier for sellers or buyers. Especially when they can mean similar things.

Quite often you will see property is listed as “Sold STC”. This simply means the property is sold, subject to contract. This would normally mean that an offer has been accepted by the seller and that now there is just the issue of waiting for the contracts to be drawn up and signed.

Sold STC differs somewhat from the term under offer due to the fact that the sale process has moved a few steps further along. Where an offer has been accepted when a property is at the “sold STC” stage, the offer is just being considered when a property is under offer.

That being said, when a property is sold STC there is still every opportunity that the sale could collapse, therefore if you are looking to buy, you could ask the estate agent if viewings are still available. If they are, you may be able to put a more attractive offer in.

Can I view property under offer?

If a property is under offer, it’s important to remember, this offer is just under consideration by the seller. Therefore, there should be nothing stopping you from booking a viewing, after all, it could be your offer that the seller accepts.

Surprising to some is that even if the original offer has been accepted, the seller can still entertain new viewings.

Whilst under offer though, viewings are totally fine, if anything, it may incite a bidding war. On the flip side though, it could result in a lost sale as the interested party that forced the property into the under offer status may feel that they have been let down.

As a seller, it is always advisable to weigh up the potential risk. Will you likely get better offers from any of the people looking to view? Or will the person that made the initial offer now walk away?

It is a concern like this that often sees sellers turn to cash house buyers as the sale is guaranteed and far less stressful.

Can I buy a house that is under offer?

As you have been reading, you will have seen that viewings and offers are both welcome whilst a house is under offer. Until the contracts are exchanged, the property is still for sale. As a result, you are more than entitled to make an offer, you may have even found that you have inadvertently gazumped the party that pushed the property into the under offer status.

How long does a house stay under offer?

It is known that the property market can move slowly at times, but were you aware that it could move so slow a property could remain under offer forever?

That’s right, property under offer can remain in that state for an infinite period of time. It rarely becomes the case but there is nothing to stop a house from remaining listed as under offer for years to come.

In most cases, all parties want a speedy resolution to the process and to sell your house fast.  So as a result, if the offer is good enough, after consideration, and then accepted, the process of moving the property to Sold STC begins. As we said above though, other offers may still be able to come in, and if they are higher than the one that has been accepted then gazumping has taken place.

What is gazumping?

We thought you may ask this-Gazumping is where someone comes in with a higher offer after a bid has already been accepted. This is not an illegal process but is often looked down on. The seller, of course, doesn’t mind, the proposed buyer, though will not be happy.

How long from under offer to sold?

The process from finding a property to actually moving in can be quite slow, although sometimes it can move much faster than expected. You’ll need to take into consideration that there will be multiple people looking at the property you are interested in.

The average time in the UK for a house to move from the stage of the offer being accepted to completion is around 12 weeks. This can vary though and will, on the whole, depend on the chain and the solicitors. If a link in the chain was to break, the sale will almost go back to its starting point. If the solicitors are having to do additional work due to a lack of information from yourself, or issues with the property then you will find the process slowing down significantly.

Our team work to ensure a rapid property sale regardless of location, regardless of condition. With years of experience in swift property sales, we fully appreciate any house sale is a stressful time. That is why we cover all the legal fees and aim to complete your sale quickly, within 30 days. Our concern is you so we work to a timescale that suits you and works to a pace that benefits you and whatever your next steps are. Interested to learn more? Contact us today and ask absolutely any questions you have. Additionally, why not get a free cash offer so you can see the kind of value we can give you?