Conditional & Unconditional Contracts2022-08-02T14:35:32+00:00

Conditional and Unconditional Contracts

Conditional contracts are used to add conditional terms to the exchange of contracts. Typically they are used when buying or selling land.

Unconditional contracts mean the buyer and seller are legally obligated to exchange contracts without any conditions, such as a cooling-off period or survey results. Effectively you are waiving your rights, therefore it is important you seek legal advice first.

Attwells Solicitors are property law excepts. Being a law firm we are able to offer sector-specific advice. This includes property and land development law. We are rated as excellent by ReviewSolicitor are our customer service and value for money. In addition, we offer fixed-fee services to developers and business owners.

What is a conditional contract?

In contrast to an unconditional contract, a conditional contract include specific conditions that must be met for the exchange of contracts to occur. If the conditions are not met by the buyer or seller they are under no legal obligation to exchange contracts.

Typically developers will use conditional contracts to ensure suitable planning permission is obtained.

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Attwells Solicitors, assist with legal property development agreement contracts in Suffolk, Essex & London

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Different types of contacts

The type of contract you require will depend on the result you desire and the risk you are willing to take. Normally risk is counterbalanced by money. Therefore typically the more risk you take the less you will pay. The trick here is to find a sweet spot, where the risk and cost are both reasonable.

Due to the complex nature of conditional and unconditional contracts, your lawyer may discuss other types of contracts with you. Our lawyers will do this if they feel your interest would be best served via another type of contract.  Other types of contracts include:

Option Agreements

An option agreement gives a potential buyer a right to purchase the land, provided they give notice to the landowner during an agreed period (the option period), usually in return for a sum of money (the option fee). If the notice is given by the buyer during the option period, the landowner has to sell the land to the buyer on the terms of the option.

Overage Agreement

An overage agreement is a legal agreement between to land buyer and seller. The agreement outlines an additional sum of money paid to the landowner, on up of the purchase price.

Typically this is when planning permission is obtained, although other events could be applicable.

In this event, the value of the land increases. Equally the buyer is able to build on the land. This is can be advantageous for both parties if an overage agreement is entered into.

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Nick Attwell
Nick Attwell Managing Partner & Head of Commercial Law
I am the founder of Attwells Solicitors and Managing Partner. I have a Master of Laws from Cambridge University and am a published academic author. I worked in the city at one of the largest international law firms before forming Attwells.

I am an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB fastest growing businesses programme.

I share my time between Attwells’ three offices in Ipswich, Colchester, and London.

I am a commercial lawyer with particular expertise in commercial property and land development. My clients range from local SMEs to larger national clients and FTSE 250 companies.

Clients value my strategic thinking, ability to explain complex legal principles in plain English, and energetic approach to their matters.

Conditional and Unconditional Contracts

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