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SSTC Meaning – Understanding ‘Sold Subject to Contract’

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If you’re looking to buy or sell a property, you may have come across the term ‘Sold Subject to Contract’ (SSTC) and wondered what it means? In this article, we will look at the meaning of SSTC, what happens at this stage in the home buying process, and the steps that follow.

What is the meaning of SSTC?

In the context of the home buying process, the meaning of SSTC is ‘Sold Subject to Contract’. It is a term used to indicate that the buyer and seller have agreed on a price for a property. However, the sale has not yet been legally completed.

At this stage, both parties have reached a verbal agreement, but there are still some conditions and formalities to be fulfilled before the sale is finalised.

What happens at the ‘Sold Subject to contract’ stage?

When a property is marked as SSTC, it means that the buyer and seller have reached a preliminary agreement on the sale. The buyer typically presents an offer to the seller, who may accept, reject or negotiate the terms.

Once both parties agree on the price and other conditions, the property is considered SSTC.

It’s important to note that, at this stage, the agreement is not legally binding.

Both the buyer and seller can still withdraw from the transaction without facing legal consequences. However, pulling out of the deal after this stage can lead to a loss of trust between parties, and may cause financial repercussions.

The process after ‘Sold Subject to Contract’

Once a property is SSTC, the following steps typically take place:

Instructing Solicitors:

Both parties will instruct their solicitors to handle the legal aspects of the transaction. The solicitors will exchange details and begin the conveyancing process.

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Property Survey:

The buyer will usually arrange for a property survey to be conducted. This helps to identify any potential issues with the property, such as structural problems or other defects. Depending on the survey results, the buyer may renegotiate the price or request repairs.

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Mortgage Application:

If the buyer needs a mortgage to fund the purchase, they will submit an application to their chosen lender. The lender will carry out their own valuation of the property to ensure it is worth the amount being borrowed.


During the conveyancing process, the solicitors will carry out various checks and searches. This includes confirming the property’s legal ownership, identifying any restrictions or covenants, and checking for planning permissions or potential issues with the property.

Exchange of Contracts:

Once all the necessary checks have been completed and the buyer’s mortgage has been approved, both parties will sign and exchange contracts. At this point, the agreement becomes legally binding, and the buyer will typically pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price).


On the agreed completion date, the buyer will pay the remaining balance of the purchase price, and the property ownership will be transferred. The keys will be handed over, and the buyer can now move into their new home.

In conclusion, SSTC signifies that the buyer and seller have reached a preliminary agreement on the sale of a property. However, there are still several steps to be completed before the transaction is legally binding. Understanding the SSTC stage and the process that follows will help you navigate the homebuying process with greater confidence.

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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023

Phil Spencer

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