by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B
Two years ago this month Don and Elsie Luxton, an elderly couple, successfully escaped an apparently binding contract for the sale of a vacant acreage block. They had earlier agreed to sell the property to Shaun and Sheree Johnson, a young couple, who planned to convert it into a mountain-bike park.
Luxtons’ agent prepared the contract dated 28th November 2005, with settlement in 60 days, subject to this two-part special condition:
(a) This contract is conditional upon the buyers entering into a binding contract on terms satisfactory to them for the sale of their existing property within 30 days from the date hereof, failing which this contract will be at an end …
(b) In the event that subparagraph (a) is satisfied, this contract is subject to settlement of the sale of the buyers property by the settlement date hereof.
The theLuxtons decided afterwards that they had sold too cheaply, and would cancel if Johnsons could not secure their prior sale in time.