One way to search for houses for sale is to look on Rightmove and include those houses that are “Sold Subject To Contract“, or that are under offer. When a house is under offer, this means it is still going through the sales process. This is important to know, especially if you are thinking about making an offer on a house that is under offer.
You can still make an offer on a house that is under offer or “sold subject to contract“, as the buyer and seller are not legally bound to proceed at this stage. Houses in England and Wales are still technically available until all the paperwork has been signed and contracts are exchanged.
What does under offer mean?
When a property is under offer in England and Wales, it means an offer has been accepted by the sellers of the house. But at this stage the vendors are not obliged to conclude the sale. It is only after contracts have been exchanged when the sale becomes legally binding.
The following terms all mean the same in the UK, which means the house is “under Offer”:
- Under Offer.
- Sold Subject to Contract.
- Sold STC.
What does under offer mean on Rightmove
Under offer on Rightmove means that the estate agent advertising the house has marked the house as sold subject to contract. This means the house will not show up on a default search for houses for sale on Rightmove.
See below how to change the default to include houses under offer or sold subject to contract.
What does under offer mean Purplebricks?
Sellers on Purplebricks have a choice whether they continue to market their property after accepting an offer, or to mark it as “sold subject to contract”. Either way, Purplebricks will pass on all offers to vendors, including those made after a property is listed as sold subject to contract.
What does it mean to make an offer on a house that is under offer?
If you make an offer on a house that is under offer, and if the sellers accept your offer, this is known as gazumping. This usually happens if the new buyer offers higher than the existing offer, but estate agents will often give the existing buyers a chance to increase their offer first.
Can you view a property under offer?
You can view a property that is under offer if the vendors are willing to take the viewing. Estate agents are obliged to put all offers to vendors, even on houses under offer. This is one way to grab seller’s attention, as the estate agent will forward your offer to them and may result in a viewing.
Bear in mind that not all sellers are willing to accept offers after they’ve already accepted their first offer. However, if the sellers have been messed around by their current buyers, they are more likely to consider new viewings. Sellers are more likely to accept new offers if the new offer is higher, or if the buyer is a cash buyer and not in a sales chain.
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How to arrange a viewing of a property that’s under offer
To arrange a viewing of a house that’s under offer you can find these on Rightmove by checking the “Include Under Offer, Sold STC...” box. This will include all houses that are under offer or sold subject to contract (Sold STC). This is a useful exercise to see what houses have been taken off the market. (See above image).
When you view properties that are shown as either Under Offer or Sold STC on Rightmove, look at the date the property was listed.
Although this doesn’t necessarily indicate how long the house has been under offer, but if the date is old, it will indicate that the house has been on the market for some time. In this case the sellers may be willing to consider fresh viewings.
How you make an offer on a house that is under offer
There are a number of important things to consider before making an offer on a house that is already under offer. This includes the following:
- You may need to make an offer over the existing offer.
- Explain to the estate agent or the vendor that you are able to proceed quickly to completion.
- If you are in a long conveyancing chain, vendors are unlikely to consider a fresh viewing from you.
Can you make an offer on a house already under offer in Scotland?
In Scotland you cannot make an offer on a house already under offer, as this means that the buyer’s solicitor has made an offer on behalf of their client. Under offer in Scotland means that both solicitors are working to conclude missives.
Final thoughts on can you make an offer on a house that is under offer
Finally, just because gazumping is legal, you should consider whether you want to be involved in gazumping other buyers. Personally, I don’t like the idea of gazumping other buyers, as this doesn’t sit comfortably with me.
I prefer to behave towards others how I expect them to behave towards me. I know it’s not good to be on the receiving end of being gazumped. By gazumping an existing buyer, it is likely the buyers will have already incurred costs associated with the purchase. These might include the costs of a survey, legal fees and other costs. That’s not nice to do to anyone.
Having said that, it is a good way to speed a sale up, as if the existing buyers know that other buyers are viewing the property, they will be more inclined to speed the buying process up.
Seller are careful about accepting new offers on their house, as it may annoy their current buyers, and there’s no guarantee that the new buyers will proceed to completion.
Please also take a read of this before you leave…
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