Definition and Essentials of a Valid Real Estate Sales Contract
This is typically the same for sale agreements during the sale of Jamaica beachfront properties.
There are two basic requirements of a contract, these are: (a) An agreement, the terms of which are fully understood to mean the same thing to both parties (consensus ad idem); and (b) An intention to create legal relations rather than a mere exchange of promises.
Essentials of a Valid Contract A contract is made up of the following elements, and will only be enforced when these-elements exist: 1.
Offer and Acceptance - There must be an offer for Jamaica real estate for sale by one party (known as the vendor) and an acceptance of it by the other party (known as the purchaser); 2.
Consideration - Each party must give consideration (except in contracts under seal); 3.
Intention to create legal relations - The parties must intend that their agreement is to be legally binding; 4.
Capacity - Each party must have legal capacity to make the contract; 5.
Form - If a particular legal form is required for the contract, this must be complied with; 6.
Consent must be genuine - The contract must not be induced by duress, undue influence, fraud or misrepresentation; 7.
legality of purpose - Contracts must not be for an illegal purpose; 8.
Possibility of performance - It must be capable to being performed.
Void, Voidable and Unenforceable Contracts A contract which does not satisfy the above requirements may according to circumstances be: (a) Void - This means that the contract is totally inoperative and is automatically treated as if it had never occurred at all.
Neither party may enforce it nor must any goods which have passed be restored to their original owners.
This means that a person would have no legal right to sell, such as beachfront property in Jamaica, hence the contract would not be legal.
Contracts which are illegal and those made under a mistake of fact are usually void.
(b) Voidable - Such a contract is valid until one of the parties elects to end it.
From the date of the election the contract is inoperative.
The electing party may then sue for the equitable remedy of rescission in order to recover any goods or money that he has given over to the other contracting party.
Although rescission can restore the parties to the same position that they were in before the contract was made, it is different from making a contract void because rescission is only awarded at the discretion of the court and may easily be lost.
Contracts induced by misrepresentation, duress or undue influence are voidable.
(c) Unenforceable - The contract is valid if the parties perform it but it cannot be enforced in law if either party fails to do so.
The nature of an offer The person making the offer is called the offeror and the person to whom it is made is called the offeree.
The main feature of an offer is that it must be made with the intention that it should be accepted without qualification by the offeree.
The offer may be made expressly by written or spoken words or it may be implied from the conduct of the parties.
An offer must be distinguished from a mere invitation.
An invitation to treat is an invitation to another party to make an offer.
It merely demonstrates a willingness to enter into negotiations and cannot be turned into a contract if it is "accepted" by the party to whom it is addressed.
An example is an advertisement for Jamaica homes for sale.