The sale of real property deals with the transfer of ownership from the seller (usually called the vendor) to the buyer (usually called the purchaser). It is not just the act of transferring the keys/possession of the property to buyer and the payment of the purchase price to the vendor. It is beyond this. We must acknowledge that the sale of real property includes several stages that make up the process of sales. These stages are summarized below:
- Pre-Contract Stage: Real Property sales transactions usually begin at the Pre-Contract stage. This stage sets the tone for the beginning of the relationship between the vendor and the purchaser. The vendor advertises the availability of the property for sale and the purchaser contacts the vendor, whether directly or through his agent, informing him of his interest in the property. It is at this stage that preliminary inquiries are made by the purchaser. He may ask questions on boundaries, notices on the property, method of sale, etc.
- Contract Stage: At this juncture, the verbal agreements reached in the Pre-Contract stage are incorporated to solidify the relationship between the parties. There are binding terms that the parties agree to. These terms include the purchase price, nature of interest, etc. Usually, there are three types of contract: oral, open and formal. It should be noted that an oral contract of sale of real property is not enforceable, as such it should be avoided.
- Completion Stage: This is the point at which the sale transaction is concluded. It is at this stage that the purchase price (or balance) is given to the vendor and the purchaser receives the keys of the property from the vendor. Basically, ownership is transferred at this stage.
- Post-Completion Stage: While the transfer of ownership is done at the completion stage, the transfer of title does not become legally recognized there. The transfer of title is perfected afterwards, at the post Completion Stage. Here, the consent of the state Governor is obtained, stamp duty is paid, and the transfer of the property is registered at the state Land registry.
In conclusion, the sale of a piece of property is no flimsy exercise. We believe that the tips highlighted helps with identifying the different steps that can act as a checklist while conducting such transactions.
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