What Does ‘Under Offer’ Mean In Property?

What Does Under Offer Mean In Property

When navigating the real estate market in the UK, you will encounter various jargon and phrases used to describe the status of a property. One such phrase that often causes confusion is ‘under offer’. This article delves into the meaning of ‘under offer’ in property terms, how it impacts both buyers and sellers and its significance in the property transaction process. 

Understanding The Term Under Offer

In the UK property market, when a property is described as ‘under offer’, it means that the seller has accepted an offer from a potential buyer, but the sale has not yet been legally finalised. Essentially, the seller has agreed in principle to sell the property at a specified price, but the exchange of contracts, which legally binds the transaction, is still pending.

This stage is generally part of the conveyancing process – the legal work involved in buying or selling property – where necessary checks, such as property surveys and local searches, are carried out by solicitors or conveyancers.

Implications For Buyers And Sellers

Being ‘under offer’ signals a significant milestone in the property transaction process, but it is vital to understand that it is not the end of the process.

For Buyers

If you are a buyer and the property you are interested in is ‘under offer’, you can still express your interest or make a higher offer. Until the contracts are exchanged, the sale is not legally binding, and the seller can choose to accept a higher offer, a practice known as gazumping. However, many sellers choose to operate on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, respecting the initial offer once accepted.

For Sellers

If you are a seller and your property is ‘under offer’, it means you are one step closer to selling your property, but you haven’t crossed the finish line just yet. There’s still a chance the sale could fall through for various reasons such as the buyer pulling out, the survey revealing significant issues, or the buyer’s mortgage application being declined.

Sold is a leading online estate agent offering a stress-free house sale. They handle much of the process for you, ensuring a smoother transition from ‘under offer’ to ‘sold’.

The Difference Between ‘Under Offer’ And ‘sold’

Although ‘under offer’ and ‘sold’ both indicate progress towards the sale of a property, they are distinctly different stages in the property transaction process.

A property is ‘under offer’ when the seller has accepted a buyer’s offer but the sale is not yet legally complete. Conversely, a property is ‘sold’ when contracts have been exchanged and the sale has become legally binding. At this point, neither party can back out without potentially incurring penalties.

Navigating The ‘Under Offer’ Stage

Successfully navigating the ‘under offer’ stage requires patience, clear communication, and a good understanding of the property transaction process. If you’re a buyer, ensure you have your finances in order and stay in regular contact with your solicitor or conveyancer. If you’re a seller, be prepared for potential setbacks and remain communicative and responsive to the buyer’s requests.

The ‘under offer’ stage can be a time of great anticipation for both buyers and sellers. While it is often a positive step towards the final sale, it’s crucial to remember that until the property is legally ‘sold’, the transaction is not fully guaranteed. Understanding this key term and its implications can help you manage your expectations and navigate the UK property market with greater ease and confidence.

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