Introductory note: This chapter examines the various steps in the process of transferring (or “conveyancing”) land. We examine, in sequence (1) contracts for the sale of land; (2) mortgages (which secure the repayment of loans); and (3) deeds, which are the instruments by which a freehold interest in land is transferred.
A. Function of a contract: It is theoretically possible for the parties to a commercial land transfer to accomplish the entire transfer in one step. The seller could simply tender his deed, and the buyer could simultaneously hand over the purchase price. If the transaction were handled this way, no contract to sell land would be necessary.