Florence, SC asked in Real Estate Law for South Carolina

Q: I've entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement to purchase an acre of land.

I've had the land surveyed and have a plat map. The seller is also in the process of selling additional land adjacent to the property I'm buying. Because there is nothing recorded showing that I am in the process of buying the land, the buyer of the other property has had all of seller's remaining property surveyed, including the land I'm purchasing. The surveyor for that buyer used the last recorded plat map. My Question: Do I need to file/record anything showing I'm buying the land, or does the Purchase and Sale Agreement suffice? Is there a chance I can lose out on buying the land because I only have a purchase and sale agremeent and not a deed at this point? If the buyer of the other land includes the land I'm purchasing in the legal description of what he's buying, will his recorded deed make my purchase and sale agreement void?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery

A: You could very well lose the prospective property transfers. Without a Deed conveyance over to you, the owner is still free to convey to others. You might be able to sue him for breach of contract, but you better read your contract verbatim. It sounds like you do not have a set closing date. If the owner sells to someone else, it will be difficult to collect any judgment against him. If the contract of sale is sealed by a notary, you might record it as a contract or option, but it is not notice of your ownership, only the owner's. The present contract of purchase is not notice to anyone of anything.

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