What Does STC Mean When Selling A Home?


Selling a house is an intricate process involving numerous stages and a plethora of real estate jargon, often causing confusion for those unfamiliar with the industry. One such term frequently seen on property listings is Homes for sales East Sussex or STC, an acronym for ‘Subject To Contract’. Let’s unravel what STC entails when selling a home.

The Basics of STC

In the realm of UK property transactions, the phrase ‘Subject To Contract’ (STC) signifies an important stage in the selling process. It is used to describe a property status where an offer has been accepted by the seller, but the sale is not yet legally binding. This means that despite a verbal agreement on the property price between the buyer and the seller, either party is still at liberty to pull out without facing any legal repercussions. This stage remains until all parties formally exchange contracts, whereupon the transaction becomes legally binding.

The Role of STC in the Home Selling Process

STC comes into play after an offer has been made on a property and the seller has accepted it. At this juncture, the seller’s estate agent will typically mark the property as ‘under offer’ or ‘sold STC’. This indicates to other prospective buyers that while an offer has been accepted, the sale has not yet been finalised, and they may still have an opportunity to make an offer.

This stage can span several weeks or even months, depending on various factors such as the length of the property chain, the speed of the solicitors involved, or the time taken for mortgage approval or property surveys. Until contracts are exchanged, the sale remains ‘subject to contract’ and is susceptible to change.

Why Does STC Matter?

Recognising the meaning of STC is essential for both buyers and sellers to navigate the UK property market effectively. For sellers, understanding that the transaction is not final until contracts are exchanged can save potential heartache from sales falling through due to buyers changing their minds or not being able to secure a mortgage.

For buyers, seeing a property listed as ‘sold STC’ doesn’t necessarily mean they should disregard it. As the sale isn’t legally binding yet, there’s a chance it could still become available again, allowing them to make a competitive offer.

Managing STC with Online Estate Agents

Online estate agents such as Sold have made the process of selling a house less stressful. Sold is a leading online estate agent offering a stress-free house sale. They handle the entire process, from listing the property to liaising with solicitors, guiding sellers through each stage, including the ‘Subject To Contract’ phase.

Estate agents play a pivotal role in managing the expectations of both parties during the STC phase. They communicate offers, negotiate terms, and help keep the sale on track. By making the process transparent and efficient, they can alleviate the stress associated with STC.


In conclusion, ‘Subject To Contract’ is a crucial phase in the UK property selling process. Although it suggests the property is on its way to being sold, it is by no means a guarantee, as the sale is not legally binding until contracts have been exchanged. Understanding the term STC and its implications can enable home sellers and buyers to navigate the property market with confidence and ultimately, ensure smoother property transactions.

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