The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Exclusivity agreements (lockout agreements) are used where the buyer wants to prevent the seller from negotiating for the sale of the property with any other party for a fixed period. Its objective is to offer the buyer time to progress the transaction without the seller talking to other interested parties. It does not guarantee that the sale contract will be entered into. At the end of the exclusivity period, either party can walk away.
Residential developers use exclusivity agreements to give buyers a fixed exclusive period in which to exchange contracts. In return, the buyer pays a non-refundable deposit that can be forfeited if the deadline is not met.
In commercial transactions, buyers may ask for exclusivity where:
there is a lot of interest in a property, to allow themselves a clear run at attempting to exchange contracts, or
they need to ascertain the viability of a proposed development
Lockout agreements are not contracts for the sale of a property and do not create an interest in land. They are no
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