Antigua and Barbuda Basic Real Estate Sales Agreement Guide

Antigua and Barbuda Basic Real Estate Sales Agreement Guide

Making a cash purchase is a blessing for vacant land or property, you are one of the fortunate few, resulting in a simple and fast process for the completion of sale.

Unfortunately, most of us are unable to exercise that option.  However, it is still possible to become proud owners of real estate by securing a loan through one of the Island’s financial institutions.

Antigua and Barbuda is still largely a common law jurisdiction and most sale agreements are governed by the same general principles.  In some countries a sales agreement has to be prepared by an Attorney-At-law, however, in Antigua and Barbuda, a real estate agent can also prepare the said document.

Hermitage Land looking west towards Pearns Point
Hermitage Land looking west towards Pearn’s Point

Representing the Purchaser:-

A Real Estate Agent must conduct and procure relevant documents, to advise clients when legally safe to contract in a binding sales agreement.

A sales agreement is needed to secure the purchase, whereby each party does what is necessary to fulfil their respective obligations.

Sales Agreement:

  1. Must reflect the intentions of both the seller and purchaser.
  2. The subject property should be accurately identified.
  3. The selling price must be stated.
  4. The closing date must be specified.
  5. Upon the signing of the sales agreement by both the seller and purchaser, a deposit of 10% is paid by the purchaser to the seller’s attorney.
  6. Signatures of both the seller and purchaser should be witnessed by adults of sound mind who are not parties to the agreement.

    Antigua and Barbuda and Venezuela agree on terms for West Indies Oil Company
    Antigua and Barbuda and Venezuela agree on terms for West Indies Oil Company

Closing requirements:

  1. The seller must have the legal right to contract to transfer title, and whose name must be reflected on that “Land Register”.
  2. The seller must present a boundary verification certificate, without presenting one, closing would be interrupted until a new boundary verification certificate is presented.
  3. The purchaser pays the remainder of the selling price
  4. Full payment of property taxes up to the date title is transferred by the Seller.  This payment can be deducted at closing by the closing attorney.

According to the Registered Land Amendment Act 2007, it is mandatory that the Chief Surveyor’s certification appears in the transfer.  Lands privately owned for at least 10 years must have the Chief Surveyor’s certificate confirming that the boundaries have been authenticated.  A transfer filed without this certificate cannot be registered.  This is to ensure that the boundaries of Registered Lands remain accurate.

 

Once the seller and purchaser have fulfilled their obligations, a date, time and place are set for the closing.  On that date, the relevant documents and purchase price are exchanged.  An Attorney-At-Law licensed to practice within the jurisdiction prepares the Instrument of Transfer.

Yes, the closing is a rewarding moment for both parties, as the contract is now fully executed.  And a much greater accomplishment for the purchaser who now has a bit of paradise to hold onto.

Redcliffe Quay Dock
Redcliffe Quay Dock

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