A ‘sale deed’ and a ‘sale agreement’, or ‘agreement for sale’ are two different legal documents. A sale deed is a conveyance deed which you must register in order to transfer property ownership from the seller to the buyer.
A sale agreement, on the other hand, is a document which details the construction plan of the project being built along with the date on which the seller shall hand over the property in question to the buyer. It does not transfer ownership from the seller/builder to the buyer. Rather, it enlists all the terms and conditions under which property ownership shall be given to the buyer, on a fixed date. Sale agreements are executed before the property has been completely constructed and consideration for it has been paid.
If either one of the transacting parties does not honour the terms of the sale agreement, it is possible to withdraw from the agreement and initiate legal proceedings against the person who has violated the terms.
The contents of a sale agreement
Sale agreements typically contain:
- Personal details of the buyer and seller
- Names of the witnesses
- Specifications of the property
- Consideration which must be paid by the buyer
- Mode of payment
- Date of completion of the project
- Date of handover of the property to the buyer (handover of possession)
- Any other terms and conditions agreed upon by the buyer and the seller.
Registration of a sale agreement in Delhi-NCR
You must register a sale agreement with the Sub Registrar’s Office (SRO) to give it a legal standing. You can register sale agreements by paying the requisite stamp duties in the National Capital Region (NCR) on the land records websites of the Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments. After registering the agreement, however, you must go to the SRO in person on the date of appointment and collect it.
Legal standing of a sale agreement
The Supreme Court (SC), on 2nd November, 2020, in the ‘M/S Imperia Structures Limited vs Anil Patni and another’ case ruled that the date of handover of possession of the property recorded in the sale agreement shall be considered as its allotment date.
In the case, the real estate developer had contended that the date of the registration of the project with the real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) should be considered the allotment date. However, the SC ruled that all the terms and conditions recorded in the sale agreement including the construction plan, and allotment date (regardless of the RERA registration date), shall be binding on both, the seller and the buyer. Thus, the seller must handover the possession of the property to the buyer in a time-bound manner as specified in the sale agreement.
While delivering its verdict, the SC cited the Real Estate Regulatory Act. The Act states that none of the parties involved in the transaction are allowed to make changes to the sale agreement without the consent of the other party and that both parties must abide by the terms of the agreement.
Photo by Cytonn Photography, Unsplash.
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