What Does STC Mean in Property?

STC, which stands for “subject to contract,” is a common term used in the UK property industry. It is used to indicate that an offer has been made and provisionally accepted on a property, but contracts have not yet been legally exchanged.

This makes the sale not yet legally binding. Understanding the meaning of STC is useful for buyers, sellers, and agents navigating the property market.

Key Takeaways

  • STC or “subject to contract” means a buyer’s offer has been verbally accepted by the seller
  • The property will be marked as sale agreed but contracts are not yet legally binding
  • Conveyancing moves forward but the sale could still fall through until exchange of contracts
  • STC takes the property off the market but does not confirm the sale 100%

When is STC Used in Property Transactions?

STC comes into play after a verbal offer has been made by a potential buyer and this initial offer has been accepted by the seller.

At this stage, both parties are willing to proceed with the sale at the agreed price, but the deal is still dependent on the legal process of conveyancing.

Marking rental properties as STC sets off the process of due diligence by the buyer’s solicitor before legally committing to the purchase.

It also takes the property off the open market even though it might still appear in some listings.

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Why Do Agents Use the STC Designation?

Estate agents utilize STC for several key reasons:

  • It allows the buying and selling process to move forward to the next steps legally required for completion
  • It initiates all the legal work needed for the purchase like conveyancing and mortgage approvals
  • It updates the status of the property so that no further viewings take place

So while the property is technically still on the market at this stage, marking it as STC effectively takes it off the open market while contracts are negotiated.

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What Changes When a Property Goes STC?

STC Meaning in Property

These key things occur when agents label a property as “sale agreed” or STC:

  • The listing is updated with the new status across major portals like Zoopla and Rightmove
  • A “Sold STC” sign goes up outside the property
  • But the listing still remains searchable and visible to prospective buyers

This signals to other buyers that the property is in the process of being sold but there is a small chance it could come back on the market.

Conveyancing Steps After STC

Once a property goes STC, the buyer’s conveyancer or solicitor takes over:

  • Surveys get conducted to assess the property’s condition
  • Searches are made with local authorities on aspects like planning permissions
  • The buyer’s mortgage process advances to secure financing
  • Both parties’ solicitors communicate to push the transaction through to completion

This period involves a lot of behind-the-scenes work to finalize the legal aspects of the sale.

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Can a Sale Fall Through After Going STC?

Yes, there is still a possibility that a sale can collapse even after reaching the STC stage:

  • Issues can come up in the conveyancing process like problems revealed in surveys
  • The buyer may pull out if they are unable to secure a mortgage
  • Other unexpected events can lead buyers to withdraw their offer

So while being marked as STC takes the property off the market and is a positive step forward, it does not guarantee completion. Contracts being legally exchanged marks the final sale.

What Does Sold STC Mean in Property?

When you see a property listed as “sold STC” it means it has an offer that the seller has accepted, but contracts have not yet been exchanged to legally finalize the sale.STC stands for “subject to contract,” indicating the transaction is still contingent on the legal process of conveyancing. Although the property is considered “sale agreed” at this point:

  • It is not yet formally sold or fully off the market
  • There is still a chance it could fall through before contracts are signed

Marking a property as sold STC initiates the behind-the-scenes work between solicitors on both sides to push the sale through to completion. This includes activities like:

  • Conducting surveys and property searches
  • Securing mortgage financing
  • Negotiating fixtures and fittings to be included

The sale only becomes legally binding when contracts have been signed and exchanged between solicitors. So while going STC is a major step forward, it does not guarantee the property has sold. Issues in conveyancing or buyers pulling out can still collapse a deal even at this advanced stage.

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Understanding the meaning of this key term provides insight into the property transaction process between initial offer and legal completion. It is an important milestone but only exchange of contracts confirms the sale.

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