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Real Estate Sales Agreement – A Review of Contract Terms and Clauses

07 Apr Real Estate Sales Agreement – A Review of Contract Terms and Clauses

A Jamaican sales agreement is entered into by two parties; a vendor and a purchaser; to put in effect the transaction of a transfer of homes in Jamaica for sale. While there are many terms and clauses that require due notice by all parties you should be cognizant or knowledgeable of, both parties have the benefit of Jamaica real estate attorneys that are helpful during the process.

Terms of a Contract

The terms of a contract define the rights and duties of the parties arising under the contract. Terms may be agreed upon by the members otherwise known as parties in a contract or might actually were imposed within the ruling court of law or by Jamaican statute.

(a) Express Terms

A contract may be completely oral or completely in writing or partly oral and partly in writing. If the contract is completely oral, the matter is usually submitted to a judge sitting with a jury who must decide as a question of fact exactly what the parties agreed.

If the contract is wholly in writing it is for a judge to interpret the meaning of the agreement. However, as a rule, the parties are bound within the four corners of the document and oral evidence may not be admitted to add to or vary the written terms. This is called the parol evidence rule. Stated as a key concept when dealing with a sales agreement or contract for homes in Jamaica for sale. In practice this rule is subject to several exceptions:

(i) Evidence may be admitted to prove a custom or trade usage which does not appear on the face of the document;

(ii) There is a limited equitable jurisdiction to rectify a written document where it can be proved that it was executed by the parties under a common mistake;

(iii) Oral evidence may be admitted where it is proved that the document was executed partially in writing and partly by word of mouth and there before it was the intention of the parties that the writing should be read in conjunction with their oral statements.

If the terms of time contract are so vague that no common intention of the members or parties can be infringed and the exceptions to the parol evidence rule are of no assistance, the contract will fail for uncertainty. However most attorneys would be able to spot out these weaknesses in the contract for homes in Jamaica for sale.

(b) Implied Terms

There may be other terms attached in the contract enclosed those which have been expressly adopted by the parties.

(i) Terms may be implied where they are usually included by the value of trade, custom or usage.

(ii) Terms may be implied in some instances by the courts where the effect is to give business efficiency to the contract. The court adds terms which the parties would have included themselves if they had thought of the matter.

(iii) Terms may be implied within a contract by virtue of statute. For example:

a) Title to goods.

b) Goods useful for what they are being purchased.

c) Goods should correspond with the description give.

Conditions and warranties.

A condition is a term, either oral or written, which is so essential to the contract that its non performance is in effect a failure to carry out the contract, in the event of a breach of condition the innocent party can, if he wishes, treat any further obligations under the contract as discharged as well as suing for damages in respect of losses incurred as a result of the breach.

A warranty is a term which is subsidiary to the main purpose of the contract because it is not a vital term, a breach of warranty does not entitle the injured person to repudiate the contract, although he is entitled to sue for damages. Understanding these factors is fundamental before buying homes in Jamaica.

By Colin Scott

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