Ask a Law Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hi, welcome to the site. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with your question.
Have you indicated at all that you consider yourself to have entered into a contract for the sale of the boat?
I accept that the broker was working on my behalf and I agreed to sell the boat but I am surprised that the contract is not signed
Okay, and you're under the impression that you need to sign the contract before the boat is sold (which would be normal?)?
I'm just checking you haven't done/agreed anything unusual?
I have not been asked to sign a contract and there is nothing unusual in the deal
That's fine - thank you. Basically until you have a contract you can pull out of the discussions etc. at any time.
The clauses in the contract do not apply unless and until you agree they do apply, which usually happens only when you sign the agreement.
It's like buying a house, where you go through and do all the searches and things before you actually sign the contract. Only when the contract is signed and exchanged do you become liable to honour it and you can pull out at any time until then.
Okay so given the fact that the sales contract emailed to me today outlines the purchase price but is unsigned and I acknowledge that I had agreed to sell the boat for the agreed price, I am in a position to not go ahead tomorrow with the handover.Any chance then that they can go for breach of contract?
If you've not communicated to them (or rather, your agent has not communicated to them - which he shouldn't have done without a signed agreement) that you have not formally agreed to the contract, then you should be able to walk away.
the issue is whether you have agreed yet or not and this depends on what has been said, but I would be very surprised if the position was anything other than requiring a signed contract to conclude a legal agreement between you.
I am confused when you say "the issue is whether you have agreed yet or not"
Yes. You have either agreed a contract or you haven't.
If you have, then you dont strictly speaking need to sign anything. However, most people don't agree something orally when they have a contract in writing drawn up to sign, as this is the point of drawing up the contract.
okay as stated I agreed to sell the boat the broker was to get the contract signed and returned to him, this has not been done as I mentioned earlier, all I have is a buyers name address" Germany" a listed purchase price,deposit amount paid and agreed by broker and agreed by purchaser both unsigned
Check with what the broker might have said tomorrow, but it seems to me like there is unlikely to be any binding contract at this time.
If the broker said "Dont worry, you dont need a signed contract, my client agrees it he said so just to me" then this means no signed contract is required. I doubt he would have done this, though.
Be that as it may but when the broker told me he was getting a contract drawn up then I would have expected it to be signed by both of them
Yes, I thought this is how it would be and I think for that reason you will not have a contract at all and you would be free to walk away until there is a contract.
okay I guess we could discuss this indefinitely so thanks for your advice
Yes, unless you know exactly what has been said, it's not possible to give a firm "yes there is a contract" or otherwise. I doubt there is though. Is there anything more I can help you with?
So you would be of the opinion I am well within my own rights to not do a handover tomorrow?
Yes. That's right.
What if he insists he signs the contract in my presence tomorrow
He can sign it - you would need to sign it too!?
okay great that clarifies it!
No problem. Do you want me to answer anything more for you?
my name is XXXXX XXXXX the contract it is the brokers and the purchasers
Then you need to check whether the broker has signed it and told the purchaser.
the broker has not signed the copy he sent to me
Thats a good sign, but it's what he's done with the purchaser that's important.
what do you mean?
To have a legal contract you have to tell the other person to it that you agree it. So the broker would have to tell (by signing the contract and sending it to) the purchaser.
I see, well that does not seem to have happened
Then this is good and suggests there is no agreement so you would be able to walk away if that's the case.
Lastly, even thought the funds are in the brokers account?
Yes, the funds are there in readiness for the contracts to be completed I expect.
okay thanks a lot for your help
No problem. Would you mind rating the answer for me please before leaving. Thanks again!