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Is it true that it's illegal for estate agents to advertise a house as 'sold subject to contract' unless the purchaser's property is also under offer?

I have had an offer accepted on a UK property I wish to buy, I have received a written memorandum of sale, and (according to the solicitor I have instructed) the property is now 'sold subject to contract'. However, it continues to appear on the Estate Agent's own website, and on websites such as rightmove and Zoopla, as being available. I have been told that the Estate Agents are continuing to offer viewings and would accept offers from other buyers. I have said to the Estate Agents that as the property is sold subject to contract, I think the listing should now say 'sold STC' in listings on these websites. Their response was that it would be against the law for them to do so, because my current house is not yet under offer so the chain is not complete. Is this true?

Asked on Jul 24 2013, Selling in Twickenham | Report content

Answers (4)

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  • Sounds like nonsense to me. However they are free to market the property all the way up to "exchange of contracts" (unless their client instructs them to do otherwise.

    Answered on Jul 27 2013, Report content
  • You have to sell to buy and you are not currently in a position to purchase. The owner wants someone to buy it and not just say I like to have it. The agent must find a buyer and it could be you - so it is important that they continue to market the property. I have seen property still being advertised for sale up to the day contracts are exchanged as buyers can change their minds at any time.

    Answered on Jul 30 2013, Report content
  • Could you buy this property if you don't sell your house? if the answer is no then the property is not sold, as you are not in a position to buy it. As has been said before, it would be entirely up to the vendors to instruct their Estate Agents to take the property off the market on the strength of your 'I would like to buy if I am ever in a position to buy' offer but they would be ill advised to do so.

    Answered on Jul 30 2013, Report content
  • Your offer may have been accepted in principle,subject to you selling your own house. As the is no guarantee how long it would take to sell your own house, then most clients would instruct their estate agents to continue to actively market the property until you have found a buyer and are able to proceed or a silly and able buyer is found. I would clarify the position with the estate agent selling. Remember the estate agent is acting for the seller and will take instructions from them.

    Answered on Aug 4 2013, Report content

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