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What Does Under Offer On A House Mean?

under offer

What Does Under Offer On A House Mean?

Want to know more? Find out more below as we delve into what ‘under offer’ means and how it relates to you.

Tom Condon
Tom Condon ★ Digital Content Writer

Table of Contents

What Does It Mean When A House Is Under Offer?

There are two general situations in which under offer can relate to you; you are a property seller or a property buyer. 


Say you are a property seller; you can put your property under offer to allow time to consider any bids you have already received. If you are a property buyer and put in an offer on a property, the seller may put the property under. 


This can be a risky move as the property seller can still accept other offers, and you may be at risk of being gazumped.

What Does Under Offer Mean?

When a property is under offer, a reasonable bid has been presented to the seller, and the seller is considering it. 


Usually, the offer is below the asking price, or the seller has received multiple offers and is deciding between interested parties. 


If a property is under, the buyer is responsible for pushing their agenda forward and moving the process along, whether trying to get it Sold STC for their offer to be accepted or going to exchange and completion. 


If the potential buyer does not push their agenda forward, they risk being gazumped by a better offer.

How Long Can A House Be Under Offer?

There is no minimum or maximum period for how long a house can be under offer, and the property can remain under for as long as both parties continue to work through the contract and exchange process. 


However, the longer a property remains under offer, the higher the risk of another buyer coming along or the existing buyer pulling out.

Do All Properties Go Under Offer?

In most cases, the property won’t go under offer as the offer is suitable for the seller. The property seller may accept the offer quickly, which will unlikely be labelled as under. It will, however, stay on the market labelled as SSTC until the contracts are exchanged.

What’s The Difference Between Under Offer And Sold STC?

Sold Subject to Contract, or SSTC, is different from a house being under offer, as Sold STC is when an offer is accepted, and the conveyancing process can begin. 


When a house is under, the property seller is simply considering the offer and has yet to make a final decision — nothing about a home being under offer is legally binding.


Property sales can only fall through at any point once contracts are exchanged. 


Under offer is used by estate agents to use as a marketing exercise when an offer has been accepted but before any contracts have been exchanged as the property sale has yet to be legally formalised. 


This can create a sense of urgency or increase demand for more offers as potential buyers try to avoid the fear of missing out. 


Sold Subject To Contract is the next step in the house selling process when a more formal agreement is made between the buyer, estate agent and seller, where solicitors are instructed, and conveyancing begins.


SSTC and house under mean that the estate agent or seller will take the property off the market entirely; this only happens when the exchange of contracts and completion dates have been set.


What Happens At Offer Accepted?

Once the offer is accepted, there is no set time for completion, and it will ultimately depend on the skill and service of the conveyancers that have been instructed. The process is also legally binding once the exchange occurs.

How Can You Make An Offer A Property That Sellers Can’t Refuse?

If you want to avoid the seller putting the property ‘under offer’ then you need to make a compelling offer that will charm them into accepting your offer as soon as possible. You can do this by:

When you find a property that you like, it’s essential that you understand what the seller wants. They could be looking for a retirement income, looking for a quick sale or want a certain amount of money. You should be able to liaise with your estate agent to find out the motivations for the seller, and this can be used to structure an offer that meets their needs.

One of the most important parts of putting in an offer on a property is to offer a fair price, you don’t want to overpay and if you want to avoid being put under offer, then you will also want to avoid going too far below the asking price. 


You should look at comparable properties in the local area, current market conditions and the condition of the property to determine a fair price for the home you are interested in.

Providing proof of funds can come in the form of bank statements or pre-approval letters from a mortgage lender, which can help boost the confidence of the seller in your financial situation.

Most sellers will have their own specific needs or requests when it comes to selling their property so being flexible is crucial as occasionally these won’t meet your needs. By adapting your offer to meet their requirements you can make your offer more appealing. 


An example of this would be that the seller wants to sell their house as soon as possible, for which you could offer to close in a shorter time frame.

By writing a personalised letter, you can let them know why you  are interested in their property and how you plan to use it in the future. This can be a great way to connect with the seller on an emotional level and make your offer stand out from the crowd.

Can You Put In An Offer On A House That’s Under Offer?

If a property is already under offer, then any other potential buyer can still view a property or still make an offer on a property that’s under.


The property seller can accept other offers until contracts are exchanged, in which case the sale will have been finalised. 


There are many reasons why a property seller may take their time to consider an offer rather than accepting it quickly. It could be that the potential buyer has made an offer below the asking price, or they could be part of a long property chain. 


But, leaving a house under offer for too long may damage the home-seller-homebuyer relationship and could risk you being gazundered (where the buyer lowers their offer at the very last minute).

What Is Gazumping?

If a property is under offer, and the seller is considering a bid, they are still open to accepting other submissions and are more likely to accept an offer higher than the original offer. — this is known as gazumping.


It can be seen as an unfair mechanism to a potential buyer but is a standard practice amongst many in the housing market as some sellers will accept higher offers for more profit.

How Can You Avoid A Relationship Breakdown?

If you are a buyer, you can ask the seller to take the property off the market, but they have no obligation to do so and can still entertain other potential buyers. 


It is more strategic for the seller to leave the property on the market whilst it’s under offer, as another buyer may come with a better offer. One way of getting around this is to offer the seller something in return — like paying for the surveys to be completed. 


Alternatively, if you want to buy or sell a house, you can do it through us! We will handle all the negotiations for you, creating a hassle-free service. 


Here at The Property Selling Company, we specialise in fast, effortless and free sales because we believe buying or selling a home shouldn’t be complicated. 


We will work alongside you every step of the house-selling process, covering everything, so you won’t have to. The days of expensive solicitor fees and legal work are over, and our team of property experts will continue to be there even after the process is complete. 


We will market your property on popular property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, organise viewings, cover legal fees, and negotiate better deals, all for free!