What Does Under Offer Mean?

Posted on: 7 February 2024

What Does Under Offer Mean?

When browsing our property listings online and in our Rugby and Northampton branches, you may come across the term 'under offer'. If so, you may be wondering what this means and whether you can still view or make an offer on the property.

In this article, we'll answer the question, 'What does 'under offer' mean?' and provide an overview of what you need to consider if you plan on making an offer on an 'under offer' property.

What 'Under Offer' Means

Put simply, a property that's 'under offer' means that a buyer or multiple interested buyers have made the seller an offer to purchase the property.

Usually, estate agents cancel viewings on properties under offer. This is to ensure the buyer who made the offer has a fair chance of being accepted without being gazumped (which means losing the property to someone else after their offer has been accepted).

Once the offer on the house is accepted, the status of the property will change to 'STC' or 'Subject to Contract'. This means that the property sale is progressing with the buyer whose offer was accepted. The sale isn't legally binding until the contracts are exchanged, which usually doesn't happen until at least a couple of months later.

Under Offer is Not the Same as Sold

Technically, a property that's 'under offer' hasn't sold, so it can't fall through. But just because the home is under offer doesn't mean it will be sold. The seller could reject the buyer's offer or the new buyer could pull out.

If you are a prospective buyer and have your eye on a property in Northampton or Rugby that's under offer, keep an eye on the listing to see if the status changes back to 'for sale' or to 'subject to contract' and ask to be kept in the loop for updates on whether the status changes to 'offer accepted' or not.

You Still Have Time to Make an Offer

Put simply, yes you can make an offer on a property that's listed as 'under offer'. In fact, it should be seen as your last opportunity to put in an offer on a property.

Just be aware that if you do this, you could enter into a bidding war with the other buyer who's made an offer – which can mean you'll need to make a competitive bid that's higher than the market value.

How to Find the Perfect Property in Northampton or Rugby

If you've missed out on a property in Rugby or Northampton, we truly believe everything happens for a reason, and there's another home just around the corner for you!

Here are our tips on how to find the right property for you:

If you're looking for a property in Northampton or Rugby, Horts are your local property experts. Give us a call today for a chat about what you're looking for, and we can send you information about relevant homes for sale.

Call us now on 01604 639933 or 01788 550044 or send us an email to northampton@horts.co.uk or rugby@horts.co.uk to arrange a call back from one of our friendly team of agents.


Frequently Asked Questions About Properties Under Offer

What does 'Under Offer' mean in the context of property listings?

When a property is 'Under Offer,' it signifies that one or more buyers have submitted offers to purchase the property. Estate agents often suspend viewings to give the initial offer a fair chance without competition.

Is 'Under Offer' the same as 'Sold,' and can the status change back to 'For Sale'?

Technically, 'Under Offer' means the property hasn't sold yet, and it is instead at the stage before 'sold subject to contract'. The status may change based on the seller's decision or if the initial buyer withdraws. It's essential to monitor the listing for updates and enquire with the local estate agent.

Can I still make an offer on a property that is listed as 'Under Offer'?

Yes, you can still make an offer on a property 'Under Offer.' However, be prepared for potential bidding competition with the existing buyer. Making a competitive bid may be necessary to secure the property.

Can I negotiate the price if a property is already 'Under Offer'?

Negotiating the price on a property 'Under Offer' can be challenging, as the initial buyer has already made an offer. However, in some cases, sellers may consider improved offers or backup offers if the primary deal falls through, especially if you are a cash buyer who matches the asking price.

Are there legal obligations for the seller once a property is 'Under Offer'?

The 'Under Offer' status signifies a tentative agreement, but it's not legally binding until contracts are exchanged between both the buyer and the seller. Sellers may still consider other offers from prospective buyers or interested parties until this point. Both parties have the option to withdraw from the deal without legal consequences before the exchange of contracts, which keeps the door slightly ajar for other prospective buyers.


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