When you buy a property in Guernsey you will usually sign
Conditions of Sale some weeks before you actually go to court to
complete your purchase. Conditions of Sale are the contract
between the buyer and the seller and allow the parties to agree the
terms of a sale ahead of the actual completion.
Set out in the Conditions of Sale will be a description of the
property, the date of completion, the price and a list of
contents. In some cases the Conditions of Sale will contain
other terms that the parties have agreed between them and which are
a part of the contract.
Conditions of Sale can be “conditional” or
“unconditional”. If you are waiting for
confirmation from your bank that you can borrow the money to buy
the house, or your survey report, or a report on title from your
advocate (or for something else) you can sign the Conditions of
Sale “conditionally”, meaning you will have a certain
amount of time in which to satisfy yourself as to those
things. Signing Conditions of Sale conditionally means the
seller is obliged to sell to you, but you can still pull out if you
are not satisfied with any of the conditions. If the
Conditions of Sale are “unconditional” both buyer and
seller are committed to the sale and purchase.
For the Conditions of Sale to be binding the buyer must pay a
deposit. The deposit for the purchase of a property is usually
10%, but it can be less if the seller agrees. If the buyer
defaults he will lose his deposit, and if the seller defaults the
deposit is returned to the buyer and the seller pays 10% damages to
the buyer. If you are selling at the same time as buying, it
is worth noting that the deposit the buyer pays on your sale cannot
be used as the deposit for your purchase.
The Conditions of Sale contain some important terms and
conditions and your Advocate will go through these with you.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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