House under Offer Vs under Contract

As a prospective homebuyer or seller, it is crucial to understand the various stages of the home buying process – from pre-approval to closing. As you navigate your way through the process, you may come across terms like “house under offer” and “under contract.” While these terms may seem interchangeable, they have important differences that you should be aware of.

House Under Offer:

When a house is “under offer,” it means that a buyer has made an offer on the property, and the seller has accepted it. However, the sale has not yet been completed, and the contract has not been signed. This means that the buyer can still back out of the deal, and the seller can still accept other offers.

During this stage, other potential buyers may continue to view the property and make offers, known as “gazumping.” In this scenario, the initial offer may be outbid by another buyer, resulting in the original buyer losing the sale.

Under Contract:

When a property is “under contract,” it means that the buyer and seller have signed a contract, and the sale is legally binding. At this stage, the sale is typically considered “pending,” and the only way the sale could fall through is if one of the parties breaches the contract`s terms.

Once a property is under contract, it cannot be sold to another buyer, and the property is off the market. The buyer begins preparing for the closing process, which includes arranging financing and hiring a home inspector.

In summary, while “house under offer” and “under contract” may seem similar, they have crucial differences. Understanding these terms can help you navigate the home buying process and make informed decisions. Keep in mind that property transactions can be complex, and it is essential to consult with a real estate professional who can guide you through the process.