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Thread: Apex court clears air on property deal

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    Default Apex court clears air on property deal

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Singapor...ry_452307.html

    November 10, 2009 Tuesday

    Apex court clears air on property deal

    Not signing option form may not be enough for pullout if all the terms for deal have been met

    By K.C. Vijayan, Law Correspondent


    FAILING to sign the option-to-purchase form may not be enough to let one pull out of a property deal.

    This is especially so if the buyer's deposit has been banked in and there are e-mail exchanges to show that a deal had been agreed upon, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

    The case in point - the sale of an apartment in an Upper Serangoon condominium in May 2007.

    E-mail messages were exchanged indicating that a price of $506,000 had been agreed upon and later, the 1 per cent option fee was paid and banked in.

    About a week later, the seller tried to back out.

    His lawyer, Mr Leslie Netto, argued that the seller was obliged to go ahead with the deal only after the seller had signed and issued the option to purchase. But the Appeals Court held that this was a 'mere formality' as all the conditions needed for a binding written contract had already been fulfilled in this case.

    The buyer's deposit had been banked in and the exchange of e-mail messages between both parties identified them and the property clearly. They showed that the parties had agreed on the price and the terms to close the deal.

    Legally, all three Ps - parties, property and price - and the T - terms of the option to purchase - had been met and the Appeals Court said this was enough to satisfy the criteria for a binding written contract.

    In law, such property deals have to be made in writing.

    The judgment released last week also showed the court was prepared to recognise e-mail messages to transact a property deal.

    'The requirement of a signature had also been satisfied on the facts of the present case,' said Justice Andrew Phang, who wrote the apex court's 23-page grounds of judgment.

    Another reason cited for enforcing the contract, or recognising the deal, in this case was the exchange of money that had taken place.

    The judgment is a timely one, said lawyers and property dealers, as it makes clear that one party cannot pull out at the last minute should a better offer arise. Signing the option letter is not the point of no return in such deals.

    Said Drew & Napier's Mr Adrian Tan: 'This is a problem that has surfaced in the last few years ever since the property boom started.'

    Money has changed hands and then the parties try to get out of the deal by not signing the option forms when they see prices rise. This will not work any more, he said.

    'The Court of Appeal has conclusively established the law in this area. All home owners and property agents should take note.'

    Mr Chris Koh, director of Dennis Wee Properties, said banking in the option fee of $5,060 in this case amounted to acceptance of the deal.

    His advice: 'If you are not sure of wanting to sell, then don't accept the cheque. You cannot accept the cheque and then say you don't want to sell.'

    [email protected]

    About the case

    WHEN a couple who had been renting a unit in Rio Vista condominium in Upper Serangoon learnt that a fourth-floor unit was being sold in 2007, they offered to pay $506,000 for it.

    Mr Chiranjeev Singh and his wife then gave property agent Helene Ong a cheque for 1 per cent of the purchase price, which she banked into seller Joseph Mathew's bank account here, as instructed.

    Mr Mathew was then working in India.

    Four key e-mail exchanges ensued - three from Ms Ong to Mr Mathew, and one from him indicating acceptance of the deal.

    But about a week later, he e-mailed Ms Ong, rejecting the offer and declining to sign the option-to-purchase form she had sent him.

    Mr Mathew returned here on May 26, 2007, and went into talks with Mr Singh about the deal.

    The talks failed and lawyer Boo Moh Cheh took the case to court for Mr Singh.

    High Court Judge Andrew Ang ordered Mr Mathew to sign the option-to-purchase form, failing which the Supreme Court Registrar would exercise its power to sign it on his behalf.

    Mr Mathew appealed to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed his suit and ordered him to pay costs.

    His unit, which eventually went at the $506,000 price first agreed upon, was understood to be worth $670,000 some 15 months later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr funny
    http://www.straitstimes.com/Singapor...ry_452307.html

    November 10, 2009 Tuesday

    Apex court clears air on property deal

    Not signing option form may not be enough for pullout if all the terms for deal have been met

    By K.C. Vijayan, Law Correspondent


    FAILING to sign the option-to-purchase form may not be enough to let one pull out of a property deal.

    This is especially so if the buyer's deposit has been banked in and there are e-mail exchanges to show that a deal had been agreed upon, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

    The case in point - the sale of an apartment in an Upper Serangoon condominium in May 2007.

    E-mail messages were exchanged indicating that a price of $506,000 had been agreed upon and later, the 1 per cent option fee was paid and banked in.

    About a week later, the seller tried to back out.

    His lawyer, Mr Leslie Netto, argued that the seller was obliged to go ahead with the deal only after the seller had signed and issued the option to purchase. But the Appeals Court held that this was a 'mere formality' as all the conditions needed for a binding written contract had already been fulfilled in this case.

    The buyer's deposit had been banked in and the exchange of e-mail messages between both parties identified them and the property clearly. They showed that the parties had agreed on the price and the terms to close the deal.

    Legally, all three Ps - parties, property and price - and the T - terms of the option to purchase - had been met and the Appeals Court said this was enough to satisfy the criteria for a binding written contract.

    In law, such property deals have to be made in writing.

    The judgment released last week also showed the court was prepared to recognise e-mail messages to transact a property deal.

    'The requirement of a signature had also been satisfied on the facts of the present case,' said Justice Andrew Phang, who wrote the apex court's 23-page grounds of judgment.

    Another reason cited for enforcing the contract, or recognising the deal, in this case was the exchange of money that had taken place.

    The judgment is a timely one, said lawyers and property dealers, as it makes clear that one party cannot pull out at the last minute should a better offer arise. Signing the option letter is not the point of no return in such deals.

    Said Drew & Napier's Mr Adrian Tan: 'This is a problem that has surfaced in the last few years ever since the property boom started.'

    Money has changed hands and then the parties try to get out of the deal by not signing the option forms when they see prices rise. This will not work any more, he said.

    'The Court of Appeal has conclusively established the law in this area. All home owners and property agents should take note.'

    Mr Chris Koh, director of Dennis Wee Properties, said banking in the option fee of $5,060 in this case amounted to acceptance of the deal.

    His advice: 'If you are not sure of wanting to sell, then don't accept the cheque. You cannot accept the cheque and then say you don't want to sell.'

    [email protected]

    About the case

    WHEN a couple who had been renting a unit in Rio Vista condominium in Upper Serangoon learnt that a fourth-floor unit was being sold in 2007, they offered to pay $506,000 for it.

    Mr Chiranjeev Singh and his wife then gave property agent Helene Ong a cheque for 1 per cent of the purchase price, which she banked into seller Joseph Mathew's bank account here, as instructed.

    Mr Mathew was then working in India.

    Four key e-mail exchanges ensued - three from Ms Ong to Mr Mathew, and one from him indicating acceptance of the deal.

    But about a week later, he e-mailed Ms Ong, rejecting the offer and declining to sign the option-to-purchase form she had sent him.

    Mr Mathew returned here on May 26, 2007, and went into talks with Mr Singh about the deal.

    The talks failed and lawyer Boo Moh Cheh took the case to court for Mr Singh.

    High Court Judge Andrew Ang ordered Mr Mathew to sign the option-to-purchase form, failing which the Supreme Court Registrar would exercise its power to sign it on his behalf.

    Mr Mathew appealed to the Court of Appeal, which dismissed his suit and ordered him to pay costs.

    His unit, which eventually went at the $506,000 price first agreed upon, was understood to be worth $670,000 some 15 months later.

    if 2006 march i gave a 1 pct cheque to my agent , with my signed doc to purchase a unit at 900k ..
    the seller couple was in HK, the husband signed and faxed back to agent, saying the wife was back in spore, to arrange and have her sign it .. and hand the cheque to her

    but the agent only found the wife at the last minute when she was at the airport going back to HK ..

    so the doc was 'half' signed, cheque still with agent ..

    according to the agent, seller husband said to agent, that they would both be back in spore in 2 weeks and to redo the doc all over again ..

    i waited

    2 weeks later they came back ..and pulled out of the sale ... since then the price has gone to 2 mio ...

    do i have a case .. ?

    i dont have the half signed doc, and the cheque was held by the agent ..which later returned it to me ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by proud owner
    if 2006 march i gave a 1 pct cheque to my agent , with my signed doc to purchase a unit at 900k ..
    the seller couple was in HK, the husband signed and faxed back to agent, saying the wife was back in spore, to arrange and have her sign it .. and hand the cheque to her

    but the agent only found the wife at the last minute when she was at the airport going back to HK ..

    so the doc was 'half' signed, cheque still with agent ..

    according to the agent, seller husband said to agent, that they would both be back in spore in 2 weeks and to redo the doc all over again ..

    i waited

    2 weeks later they came back ..and pulled out of the sale ... since then the price has gone to 2 mio ...

    do i have a case .. ?

    i dont have the half signed doc, and the cheque was held by the agent ..which later returned it to me ..
    I don't think u have a case if the pty is jointly owned by husband & wife n it seems there is no explicit consent by wife in this case. Moreover the cheque is not banked in. Why can't the both the owners sign n fax back/ sign, scan, email back rather than wait?

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    Pal, what a waste.

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    http://allisonarticles.wordpress.com...property-deal/


    Something not right here cos common sense tells me that if the option was fairly worded, then if any party to the contract defaults on the 'option', (unless such default is mutually acceded to), the penalty for such default should logically be limited to the option quantum, i.e. $5,060 in this case, NOT a forced sale of the whole property in question. For a buyer to be able to hold an entire property hostage for 1% of it’s value defies common logic, unless of course there is more to the case.


    It cannot be fair practice that the 'option' is for the sole benefit of the buyer as it in no way amounts to a fee for service. It is after all just an 'option', an operative that if applied both ways, should be no more then an agreement forming mechanism wherein which a defaulting party to the said agreement should be subject to a mutually decided penalty, which in this case is no more then equal to the $5060 'option fee' paid.


    'Option fee', in my opinion is a misnomer as it only becomes a fee for the defaulting party should the contract not be finally fulfilled.


    Unless there's more to this case...

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    Default Apex court clears air on property deal: My reservations

    Apex court clears air on property deal: My reservations

    Comments?


    http://business.asiaone.com/Business...11-179261.html

    Something not right here that disturbed me enough to make me try reading the honorable judge's judgment.

    The result of which is that I have found suspect the eventual outcome (see a/m news report). The honorable judges (para 18 have IMHO, failed to answer my second concern.
    Joseph Mathew and Another v Singh Chiranjeev and Another [2009] SGCA 51
    Suit No: CA 200/2008, Decision Date: 29 Oct 2009,
    Court: Court of Appeal
    Coram: Andrew Phang Boon Leong JA, Chan Sek Keong CJ, V K Rajah JA
    Counsel: Leslie Netto (Netto & Magin LLC) for the appellants, Boo Moh Cheh and Arthur Edwin Lim (Kurup & Boo) for the respondents
    Andrew Phang Boon Leong JA (delivering grounds of decision of the court)
    http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/remweb/legal/ln2/rss/judgment/64650.html?utm_source=rss%20subscription&utm_medium=rss .

    My understanding is that there are 2 concerns at hand in this case:
    The first being whether the email/ phone correspondences constituted a valid 'option to purchase', (“option”).
    The second one being the consequence one should suffer as a defaulting party, which in this case was by of the seller, Mr Joseph Mathew who refused to honor the 'option'.

    Granted Mr Joseph Mathew has probably behaved in a less then honorable (disgraceful) manner by later refusing to sign the option form despite his 13May2007 email (reproduced below, from para 7 of 'Joseph Mathew and Another v Singh Chiranjeev and Another [2009] SGCA 51') clearly instructing Helene Ong (property agent) to sell his property via first accepting the check of $5060.


    However, with the exception of my missing intriguing details that either might have included in the 'option contract', I believe that any default of the option by either party should only result in nett forfeiture of such said 'option fee' by the defaulting party to the other.

    This is because though '1%, 3 weeks' deal might be 'market practice', such contract terms are not to be cast in stone as surely as there could be many variations, e.g.:
    - Someone who wants to pay in full on the spot with lawyers to on hand.
    - Contracting parties who agree that the option to purchase should be 10% in addition to the fulfillment of some other condition(s) etc.

    Given the wide variation of contracts/ 'options' as the situation may be, an equitable mechanism for remedy must be found. One suggestion towards an amicable, equitable resolution would be for the defaulting party to compensate the other, an amount equal to the value of the 'option fee'.

    What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    New scenarios can crop up during the option to purchase period that might hinder a sale can apply to all, e.g. gold discovered below the foundation, the buyer finding another property, the seller striking lottery so relieving him the need to liquidate property, lightning/ fire/ floods destroying part or all of the property, court orders blocking en-block sales wherein due procedure wasn't followed, geomancer comments etc; situations which would have obvious impact upon one's decision to buy/ sell a property. Baring any 'exceptional default penalties', either party should thus be allowed to void the sale upon forfeiture of some pre-contracted amount (the 'option fee').

    It is thus beyond comprehensibility how the eventual sale at $506K could have occurred after June 2008(para 16/ see judgment: Singh Chiranjeev v Joseph Mathew [2008] SGHC 222) given that the property was “worth some $670K” at that time. Was Mr Matthew forced to sell has property by the courts?

    In conclusion, I have no objections to (Singh Chiranjeev v Joseph Mathew [2008] SGHC 222) “if the appellants should refuse or neglect to sign the Option, the Registrar of the Supreme Court shall have the power to sign and grant the Option to the respondents on behalf of the appellants ”
    However, anyone ordering/ forcing Mr Matthew to honor the 'option', without giving him the option to default (with equitable penalties) would in my opinion, be certainly acting beyond one's authority.

    It is a shame that a 1% deposit can hold an entire property hostage under all conditions. That's tyranny.


    PS: 'Option fee', in my opinion is a misnomer as it only becomes a fee for the defaulting party should the contract not be finally fulfilled.


    ==========

    13May2007 email by Joseph Mathew, reproduced from http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/remweb/legal/ln2/rss/judgment/64650.html?utm_source=rss%20subscription&utm_medium=rss

    7 The third key e-mail is the first appellant’s e-mail on 13 May 2007 to Helene in response to her earlier e-mails (“the Third E-mail”), and it reads as follows:[note: 3]
    Dear Helene,
    Understand that at this growing market, the property price is going up including rental market. However I am taking a decision to proceed to sell the property at this price of S$506K which is reasonably OK as my minimum expectation was S$510K which we couldn’t achieve.
    After deducting agent fee and lawyer fee at least I should get minimum of S$500K. I had taken loan of S$250K and also paying heavy interest for the last one year (not much gain), also very less rental of S$1500 which is also not attractive. As discussed through phone I can only agree for an agent fee of S$4000 + tax which is reasonable. Also I can give more business for you through various contacts. Pleas [sic] raise the invoice accordingly.
    · You can also deposit the cheque to my account POSB-026-XXXXX-X
    · Pls send me the draft letter for Mr. Igwe so that I can sign the letter with effect from 14 May 07.
    · My address as follows
    Joseph Mathew
    Keppel FELS Offshore,
    Unit No. 3, 8th floor, Prism Tower A,
    Mindspace, Malad West,
    Mumbai – 400062
    India.
    · Also appreciate your follow up to find a suitable flat which can demand higher rental value (ex. Summerdale etc) or Any new EC coming up /any good deal.
    Thanks for your understanding and support.
    Best Regards
    Joseph Mathew
    [emphasis added; underlining in original]

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    Quote Originally Posted by BicCherry
    http://allisonarticles.wordpress.com...property-deal/


    Something not right here cos common sense tells me that if the option was fairly worded, then if any party to the contract defaults on the 'option', (unless such default is mutually acceded to), the penalty for such default should logically be limited to the option quantum, i.e. $5,060 in this case, NOT a forced sale of the whole property in question. For a buyer to be able to hold an entire property hostage for 1% of it’s value defies common logic, unless of course there is more to the case.


    It cannot be fair practice that the 'option' is for the sole benefit of the buyer as it in no way amounts to a fee for service. It is after all just an 'option', an operative that if applied both ways, should be no more then an agreement forming mechanism wherein which a defaulting party to the said agreement should be subject to a mutually decided penalty, which in this case is no more then equal to the $5060 'option fee' paid.


    'Option fee', in my opinion is a misnomer as it only becomes a fee for the defaulting party should the contract not be finally fulfilled.


    Unless there's more to this case...
    I think the sticking point is not about the buyer issuing the 1% check.

    It is really 2 things.

    1) There was email evidence that the offered price is acceptable; and
    2) The check was banked in and encashed.

    ie. there is offer, acceptance and consideration for the option was paid.

    So the trick is,

    1) do not communicate with your agent via email or sms.
    2) Under no circumstance you should accept the check unless you are sure.

    In any case, also don't be chao kuan, if agreed to sell, the market run up, it is just your luck...

    What i always practise is to ask for immediate exercise. You want to buy my house, in a situation where property prices are going up daily, there is no option, you exercise straight away... It gives buyer and seller comfort, especially those who are buying to stay.

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    An "option" is an "option" - it is legally binding pending the buyer exercising it and the seller cannot back out unless the buyer back out (simple as that). After seller agreed to issue the option, the option holder (which is the buyer) has the legal right to exercise the option regardless of whatever the seller want to do. Otherwise there is no need for the option. The law is already very clear on that. In this case, seller trying to back out and find all sort of excuses. The Apex court has done absolutely right thing to effort the Sale. I fully support the Apex Court judgement. If seller can back out just like after issuing the option, then Singapore's law can throw into the dustbin (don't need to follow anymore).

    Quote Originally Posted by BicCherry
    Apex court clears air on property deal: My reservations

    Comments?


    http://business.asiaone.com/Business...11-179261.html

    Something not right here that disturbed me enough to make me try reading the honorable judge's judgment.

    The result of which is that I have found suspect the eventual outcome (see a/m news report). The honorable judges (para 18 have IMHO, failed to answer my second concern.
    Joseph Mathew and Another v Singh Chiranjeev and Another [2009] SGCA 51
    Suit No: CA 200/2008, Decision Date: 29 Oct 2009,
    Court: Court of Appeal
    Coram: Andrew Phang Boon Leong JA, Chan Sek Keong CJ, V K Rajah JA
    Counsel: Leslie Netto (Netto & Magin LLC) for the appellants, Boo Moh Cheh and Arthur Edwin Lim (Kurup & Boo) for the respondents
    Andrew Phang Boon Leong JA (delivering grounds of decision of the court)
    http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/remweb/legal/ln2/rss/judgment/64650.html?utm_source=rss%20subscription&utm_medium=rss .

    My understanding is that there are 2 concerns at hand in this case:
    The first being whether the email/ phone correspondences constituted a valid 'option to purchase', (“option”).
    The second one being the consequence one should suffer as a defaulting party, which in this case was by of the seller, Mr Joseph Mathew who refused to honor the 'option'.

    Granted Mr Joseph Mathew has probably behaved in a less then honorable (disgraceful) manner by later refusing to sign the option form despite his 13May2007 email (reproduced below, from para 7 of 'Joseph Mathew and Another v Singh Chiranjeev and Another [2009] SGCA 51') clearly instructing Helene Ong (property agent) to sell his property via first accepting the check of $5060.


    However, with the exception of my missing intriguing details that either might have included in the 'option contract', I believe that any default of the option by either party should only result in nett forfeiture of such said 'option fee' by the defaulting party to the other.

    This is because though '1%, 3 weeks' deal might be 'market practice', such contract terms are not to be cast in stone as surely as there could be many variations, e.g.:
    - Someone who wants to pay in full on the spot with lawyers to on hand.
    - Contracting parties who agree that the option to purchase should be 10% in addition to the fulfillment of some other condition(s) etc.

    Given the wide variation of contracts/ 'options' as the situation may be, an equitable mechanism for remedy must be found. One suggestion towards an amicable, equitable resolution would be for the defaulting party to compensate the other, an amount equal to the value of the 'option fee'.

    What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    New scenarios can crop up during the option to purchase period that might hinder a sale can apply to all, e.g. gold discovered below the foundation, the buyer finding another property, the seller striking lottery so relieving him the need to liquidate property, lightning/ fire/ floods destroying part or all of the property, court orders blocking en-block sales wherein due procedure wasn't followed, geomancer comments etc; situations which would have obvious impact upon one's decision to buy/ sell a property. Baring any 'exceptional default penalties', either party should thus be allowed to void the sale upon forfeiture of some pre-contracted amount (the 'option fee').

    It is thus beyond comprehensibility how the eventual sale at $506K could have occurred after June 2008(para 16/ see judgment: Singh Chiranjeev v Joseph Mathew [2008] SGHC 222) given that the property was “worth some $670K” at that time. Was Mr Matthew forced to sell has property by the courts?

    In conclusion, I have no objections to (Singh Chiranjeev v Joseph Mathew [2008] SGHC 222) “if the appellants should refuse or neglect to sign the Option, the Registrar of the Supreme Court shall have the power to sign and grant the Option to the respondents on behalf of the appellants ”
    However, anyone ordering/ forcing Mr Matthew to honor the 'option', without giving him the option to default (with equitable penalties) would in my opinion, be certainly acting beyond one's authority.

    It is a shame that a 1% deposit can hold an entire property hostage under all conditions. That's tyranny.


    PS: 'Option fee', in my opinion is a misnomer as it only becomes a fee for the defaulting party should the contract not be finally fulfilled.


    ==========

    13May2007 email by Joseph Mathew, reproduced from http://www.singaporelawwatch.sg/remweb/legal/ln2/rss/judgment/64650.html?utm_source=rss%20subscription&utm_medium=rss

    7 The third key e-mail is the first appellant’s e-mail on 13 May 2007 to Helene in response to her earlier e-mails (“the Third E-mail”), and it reads as follows:[note: 3]
    Dear Helene,
    Understand that at this growing market, the property price is going up including rental market. However I am taking a decision to proceed to sell the property at this price of S$506K which is reasonably OK as my minimum expectation was S$510K which we couldn’t achieve.
    After deducting agent fee and lawyer fee at least I should get minimum of S$500K. I had taken loan of S$250K and also paying heavy interest for the last one year (not much gain), also very less rental of S$1500 which is also not attractive. As discussed through phone I can only agree for an agent fee of S$4000 + tax which is reasonable. Also I can give more business for you through various contacts. Pleas [sic] raise the invoice accordingly.
    · You can also deposit the cheque to my account POSB-026-XXXXX-X
    · Pls send me the draft letter for Mr. Igwe so that I can sign the letter with effect from 14 May 07.
    · My address as follows
    Joseph Mathew
    Keppel FELS Offshore,
    Unit No. 3, 8th floor, Prism Tower A,
    Mindspace, Malad West,
    Mumbai – 400062
    India.
    · Also appreciate your follow up to find a suitable flat which can demand higher rental value (ex. Summerdale etc) or Any new EC coming up /any good deal.
    Thanks for your understanding and support.
    Best Regards
    Joseph Mathew
    [emphasis added; underlining in original]

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    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    An "option" is an "option" - it is legally binding pending the buyer exercising it and the seller cannot back out unless the buyer back out (simple as that). After seller agreed to issue the option, the option holder (which is the buyer) has the legal right to exercise the option regardless of whatever the seller want to do. Otherwise there is no need for the option. The law is already very clear on that. In this case, seller trying to back out and find all sort of excuses. The Apex court has done absolutely right thing to effort the Sale. I fully support the Apex Court judgement. If seller can back out just like after issuing the option, then Singapore's law can throw into the dustbin (don't need to follow anymore).
    Well, the law usually follows the form (when there is any), and rely on substance when the form is missing.

    The usual practise of option money and S&P agreement follows what SLA has implement on developers, so as to protect buyers. I cannot imagine a scenario where as consumer we buy properties from Developers, and they have an exit clause to allow them to back out of the deal. Hence, there is always an option to consume, and a irrevocable S&P Agreement.

    However, on a secondary market, you are free to get your lawyer to craft in any additional clauses or customise a S&P agreement you so wish, as long as your buyer or seller is agreeable.

    ie. if you are a seller who do not wish to be held ransom by the option fee can simply add in a clause that allows you as a seller to back out of the deal, provided that suitable compensation is paid to buyer for the "lost". As long as Buyer is agreeable, and is willing to enter in to the contract, it will stand in court.

    I for one doesn't quite agree with having my property being held ransom for a 1% option fee. Hence, I usually ask for 5% option fee with 4 weeks to exercise 8 weeks to complete, or 1% if buyer is willing to exercise immediately with 8 weeks to complete. So far all the serious buyers for my previous properties has no issue with my request at all.

    The basis for such is:
    1) if the buyer backs out, at least I am well compensated for my "losses"
    2) if the buyer is willing to provide me certainty (ie. guarantee to complete the deal) my decision making thereafter will be much easier. I can easily purchase another property at current market price and not future market price.

    Bottom line is, be fair to yourself, and be fair to others.

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    my friend has a case which has drag for a few years and has not been settled yet. scenario: my friend bought a flat from party A at agreed price. my friend has paid downpayment which was accepted by party A. it was assume everything was going smoothly and my friend sold his flat to party B and received downpayment from party B. everything go smoothly until party A decide not to sell to my friend and my friend cannot sell to party B. As a result, my friend has to pay back party B the downpayment PLUS compensation. but he still cannot claim anything from party A. He is still fighting for the case and to-date he has incurred more than $10k in lawyer fee. he is in dilema becos if he stop the case he will lose everything and claim back nothing, but he still want to fight the case he has to fork out more legal fee and the lawyer did not commit to him the chances of winning the case. i was wondering whether is the lawyer doing his job?? this is quite a simple case and how can it be drag for so long? is the lawyer trying to make more $ or they jus not interested in the case and jus drag on? any advice??

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    http://www.propertyhub.com.sg/Singap...ty-Buying.html “4.(ii) Entering Sale and Purchase Agreement.
    The purchaser will need to put up another 9% of the agreed sale price known as Option Exercise Fee to accept the OTP which will then form a valid sale contract, known as Sale and Purchase Agreement. The two payments (Option fee and Option exercise fee) then form the down payment, which is 10% of the agreed sale price. The balance of the payment must be settled on or before legal completion date.”

    The 'option exercise fee' had not yet been accepted in this case. So to be fair, this fact should also be taken into consideration. The other fact I stated would be in 2 distinct examples(simple terms): 1) house gets burnt down by lightning, 2) someone offers seller a better deal/ a mortgagee bank may object half way into the sale.
    Each scenario will cause the respective party to pull out of the deal with the possibility of legal/ literal impediment to the sale (It can happen both ways). In the absence of elaborate contractual documentation except that an 'option fee' has been paid/ received, how should a fair judge judge this and the many other cases that are wont to come in terms of restitution/ awarding damages?

    I repeat: “What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    An "option" is an "option" - it is legally binding pending the buyer exercising it and the seller cannot back out unless the buyer back out (simple as that). … .... The Apex court has done absolutely right thing to effort the Sale. I fully support the Apex Court judgement. If seller can back out just like after issuing the option, then Singapore's law can throw into the dustbin (don't need to follow anymore).
    Hi Teddy, I think that you like the 'apex court', are giving much too much leeway to the buyer. An 'option' is an 'option', and it should apply both ways and the courts should accept that is they want to remain a credible institution in our confusing and materialistic society, where permutations abound and mere expedience isn't a sustainable solution. Honorable persons cannot favor expedience over integrity.

    High court judges who make mistakes too are criticized:

    “.. Justice Choo had no choice but to remove the $10,000 fine. However, he did not subtitute that with any added jail time, claiming that “in the circumstances, it will not be right to increase the custodial sentence to the detriment of the accused.” And he added that this was a one off case and not to be used as a sentencing precedent...” (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sg_Rev...ssage/5653?l=1 ) Guess till the courts get their act together, 'pweesng' seems to have some worthwhile solutions:
    Quote Originally Posted by pweesng
    ...
    ie. if you are a seller who do not wish to be held ransom by the option fee can simply add in a clause that allows you as a seller to back out of the deal, provided that suitable compensation is paid to buyer for the "lost". As long as Buyer is agreeable, and is willing to enter in to the contract, it will stand in court. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by pweesng
    ... Bottom line is, be fair to yourself, and be fair to others.
    Last edited by BicCherry; 16-11-09 at 15:24.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Dear Mod, please delete last post, this is a new, edited version of the same.

    http://www.propertyhub.com.sg/Singap...ty-Buying.html “4.(ii) Entering Sale and Purchase Agreement.
    The purchaser will need to put up another 9% of the agreed sale price known as Option Exercise Fee to accept the OTP which will then form a valid sale contract, known as Sale and Purchase Agreement. The two payments (Option fee and Option exercise fee) then form the down payment, which is 10% of the agreed sale price. The balance of the payment must be settled on or before legal completion date.”

    The 'option exercise fee' had not yet been accepted in this case. So to be fair, this fact should also be taken into consideration. The other fact I stated would be in 2 distinct examples(simple terms): 1) house gets burnt down by lightning, 2) someone offers seller a better deal/ a mortgagee bank may object half way into the sale.
    Each scenario will cause the respective party to pull out of the deal with the possibility of legal/ literal impediment to the sale (It can happen both ways; n I haven't even come to the issue of en blocks.).
    In the absence of elaborate contractual documentation except that an 'option fee' has been paid/ received, how should a fair judge decide on this and the many other cases that are wont to come in terms of restitution/ resolution?

    I repeat: “What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    Quote Originally Posted by teddybear
    An "option" is an "option" - it is legally binding pending the buyer exercising it and the seller cannot back out unless the buyer back out (simple as that). … .... The Apex court has done absolutely right thing to effort the Sale. I fully support the Apex Court judgement. If seller can back out just like after issuing the option, then Singapore's law can throw into the dustbin (don't need to follow anymore).
    Hi Teddy, I think that you like the apex court, are giving much too much leeway to the buyer. An 'option' should be a universal 'option', and it should apply both ways. The courts should accept that impartiality and foresight is their only forte if they want to remain a credible institution in our fast developing and confusingly materialistic society; permutations abound and sustainable solutions must be resolutely sought.

    Honorable persons cannot favor expedience over integrity; high court judges who make mistakes too are criticized:
    “.. Justice Choo had no choice but to remove the $10,000 fine. However, he did not subtitute that with any added jail time, claiming that “in the circumstances, it will not be right to increase the custodial sentence to the detriment of the accused.” And he added that this was a one off case and not to be used as a sentencing precedent...” (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sg_Rev...ssage/5653?l=1 )

    Guess till the courts get their act together, 'pweesng' seems to have some worthwhile solutions:
    Quote Originally Posted by pweesng
    ...
    ie. if you are a seller who do not wish to be held ransom by the option fee can simply add in a clause that allows you as a seller to back out of the deal, provided that suitable compensation is paid to buyer for the "lost". As long as Buyer is agreeable, and is willing to enter in to the contract, it will stand in court. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by pweesng
    ... Bottom line is, be fair to yourself, and be fair to others.
    Last edited by BicCherry; 16-11-09 at 15:42. Reason: clarity

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