The property industry is filled with jargon that can be slightly confusing for people that are new to the market. In this blog, we’ll focus on what the term ‘Sold STC’ means and what the implications are.
What does ‘Sold STC’ mean?
Sold STC (subject to contract) essentially means that a deal has been agreed between a buyer and a seller, however all the paperwork and contracts need to be signed and sealed before the sale of the property can be considered legally binding. It’s also important to note that ‘sold STC’ is just a generic term used within the industry, and terms and phrases such as ‘under offer’ and ‘sale agreed’ may be used interchangeably.
Whilst the meaning of sold STC is fairly simple to understanding, the implications of the term can be a bit more complex.
Implications for buyers
As a buyer, once you have had an offer accepted and the property you are looking to buy is listed as sold STC, you now have the opportunity to conduct a survey and make sure you are absolutely certain on everything regarding the property.
As nothing the sale isn’t legally binding until everything is signed, the sold STC stage gives you the opportunity to check everything within the property and make sure there are no damages or extra costs that need to be accounted for. Although this time period can be long and drawn out, it allows you to make sure you are 100% confident about purchasing the property.
Once you know you are happy with committing to everything, it’s best to try to be proactive in your push towards getting the deal completed which will allow you to go through the buying process as quickly as possible.
Implications for sellers
Once your property is sold STC, it will be listed on any property markets as such and won’t technically be classed as an available property. Any physical sign that on the property will also be amended to have a ‘sold’ label on it. Despite this, there is nothing to stop other interested parties putting in an offer.
After your property has been listed as sold STC, the conveyancing process can begin and you can start the legal process of handing over ownership of the property to the new buyer.
How to avoid being ‘gazumped’
Unfortunately, even when you have an offer accepted on a property, and that property then becomes listed as sold STC, there is still a chance you can be ‘gazumped’. This is essentially when a third party puts in a higher offer after you have already had an offer on a property accepted.
Thankfully, there are certain measures you can take to help limit the risk of being gazumped. One of the best things you can do is to ensure the estate agent removes the property from the market as soon as possible. It is unlikely that another buyer would put in an offer without even viewing the property, so getting the listing removed can limit the chance of this taking place.
As annoying as it is for the buyer, gazumping is legal and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it if it happens. The estate agent that is selling the property on behalf of the seller is actually obliged to pass on any higher offer they receive as it would be in the best interest of their client. The best advice regarding avoiding gazumping is to build a good relationship with the seller, and show you are serious by proactively trying to move the sale along as quick as possible.
Whilst it may seem like the sold STC stage can be overdrawn, it’s important to remember that it is beneficial as it gives both parties time to ensure they are 100% happy with the transaction that is taking place. The sold STC stage may feel like a vulnerable time period, but this is the same for both parties as neither the buyer nor seller are legally obliged to complete the deal at this point. Having this leeway helps to ensure any issues are resolved and that no decision is made too hastily. If both the buyer and the seller are happy throughout the sold STC period, then everything should work out alright!