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Sale Deed

What is the Difference Between Sale Deed and Sale Agreement?

There is often much confusion regarding the difference between a sale deed and a sale agreement. This article explains the meaning of both these terms and highlights the differences between a Sale Deed and a sales agreement.


In the realm of property transactions, both a sale agreement and a sale deed play crucial roles, but they serve distinct purposes and have specific characteristics. Understanding the differences between these two legal documents is vital for both buyers and sellers. This article aims to shed light on the nuances between an agreement of sale and a sale deed, exploring their definitions, elements, cancellation possibilities, and legal significance.

What is an Agreement of Sale?

An agreement of sale, also known as a sale agreement or a sale contract, is a preliminary agreement between the buyer and seller of a property. It outlines the terms and conditions of the proposed sale, indicating the intent of both parties to enter into a future transaction. The agreement of sale acts as a legally binding contract that sets the framework for the final sale deed.

Elements of an Agreement of Sale:

An agreement of sale typically includes the following essential elements:

  1. Details of the Parties: The names, addresses, and other identifying information of the buyer and seller.
  2. Property Description: A comprehensive description of the property being sold, including its boundaries, location, and other relevant details.
  3. Sale Consideration: The agreed-upon sale price or consideration for the property.
  4. Payment Terms: The schedule and method of payment, including any advance payments or installments.
  5. Possession and Transfer: The date of possession and the timeframe for executing the sale deed.
  6. Obligations and Liabilities: Responsibilities and liabilities of both parties during the interim period before the final transfer of ownership.
  7. Dispute Resolution: The mechanism for resolving disputes, if any, that may arise during the agreement’s validity.

Important Points to Check Before Signing an Agreement of Sale:

Before signing an agreement of sale, the parties involved should carefully review the following aspects:

  1. Clear and Unambiguous Terms: Ensure that the terms and conditions are precise, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
  2. Legal Validity: Confirm that the agreement complies with the relevant laws and regulations.
  3. Property Details: Verify that the property details mentioned in the agreement match the actual property being sold.
  4. Payment Terms: Double-check the agreed-upon payment schedule and any penalties for default.
  5. Possession Date: Ensure that the possession date aligns with the buyer’s requirements and the seller’s ability to deliver.
  6. Dispute Resolution Clause: Understand the procedure for dispute resolution to avoid potential complications later on.

What is a Sale Deed?

A sale deed, also known as a conveyance deed, is a legal document that formally transfers ownership of a property from the seller to the buyer. Unlike the agreement of sale, the sale deed constitutes the final and conclusive evidence of the property’s transfer and confers absolute ownership to the buyer.

Important Elements of a Sale Deed:

A sale deed typically includes the following essential elements:

  • Details of the Parties: The names, addresses, and other identifying information of the buyer and seller.
  • Property Description: A comprehensive description of the property, including its boundaries, location, and other relevant details, which should match the agreement of sale.
  • Sale Consideration: The actual sale price paid by the buyer to the seller for the property.
  • Clear Title: A confirmation that the seller has the legal right to sell the property and that there are no encumbrances on the property.
  • Granting Clause: The clause that legally transfers ownership from the seller to the buyer.
  • Signatures and Witnesses: Signatures of both parties involved in the transaction, along with witnesses, to attest to the deed’s validity.

Can the Sale Agreement and Sale Deed Be Cancelled?

Yes, both the sale agreement and sale deed can be canceled under certain circumstances, but the implications and legal consequences differ significantly:

  1. Cancellation of Sale Agreement: If either party fails to fulfill the terms and conditions mentioned in the sale agreement, the other party can seek cancellation of the agreement through legal channels. Additionally, the agreement may include specific conditions under which it can be terminated.
  2. Cancellation of Sale Deed: Unlike the sale agreement, the sale deed, once executed and registered, cannot be easily cancelled. To challenge the sale deed’s validity, the affected party must prove its execution was done through fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation.

Is a Sale Agreement Mandatory?

While an agreement of sale is not legally mandatory, it is a crucial and customary step in most property transactions. The agreement acts as a safety net for both the buyer and seller by establishing clear terms and conditions before proceeding with the final sale deed.

Key Differences Between the Agreement of Sale and Sale Deed:


  • Agreement of Sale: Preliminary contract outlining the terms of the proposed sale.
  • Sale Deed: Conclusive legal document transferring ownership of the property.

Legal Validity:

  • Agreement of Sale: Legally binding but doesn’t confer ownership.
  • Sale Deed: Conclusive proof of ownership and title transfer.

Execution Time:

  • Agreement of Sale: Executed before the final sale deed.
  • Sale Deed: Executed after fulfilling all the terms of the agreement.

Ownership Transfer:

  • The agreement of Sale: Does not transfer ownership; it leads to the sale deed.
  • Sale Deed: Transfers absolute ownership from the seller to the buyer.


  • Agreement of Sale: Can be canceled if terms are not fulfilled or by mutual agreement.
  • Sale Deed: Can only be canceled by proving fraud, coercion, or misrepresentation.

Supreme Court Ruling on Sale Deed and Agreement of Sale:

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, no specific Supreme Court ruling on sale deeds and agreements of sale has been mentioned. However, it’s essential to note that court decisions may vary based on specific cases and legal contexts.

Difference between a Sale Deed and a sale agreement

A sale deed and a sale agreement are two different legal documents. Let us dredge a little bit in detail and understand the difference between a sale deed and a sale agreement.

  1. A sale agreement anticipates the sale deed during the execution of the sale of a particular property. Whereas, an agreement of sale is a legal document that represents the terms and conditions of the transfer. It is a set of guidelines or conditions that the buyer and the seller have to follow during transaction execution.
  2. A sale deed is an important legal document that also specifies the title of the ownership to the buyer from the seller. It is also drafted legally when it is signed by both the seller and the buyer. It contains all the important information about the transactions like the name, address of the seller and the buyer, the property’s location, etc.
  3. On the other hand, an agreement of sale is the antecedent of the sale deed, it may or may not result in an actual sale of the property. Hence, when a sale deed is signed and executed by the buyer and the seller then only the sale is completed.
  4. It is necessary to register a sale deed on the date of execution of the deed so a person can receive the rights of the property.  But it is not important to register an agreement of sale.
  5. In an agreement of sale, the liabilities of the property remain with the seller until the property gets transferred in the future but in the sale deed, the risk is transferred to the buyer immediately.


In conclusion, understanding the distinction between a sale agreement and a sale deed is essential for anyone involved in a property transaction. While the agreement of sale sets the terms and conditions for the impending sale, the sale deed finalizes the transfer of ownership. Both documents play vital roles in safeguarding the interests of both parties and ensuring a smooth property transfer process. As legal proceedings and regulations may vary across jurisdictions, it is advisable to seek professional legal advice before entering into any property transaction.


1. Can the sale agreement and sale deed have different amounts?

Yes, the sale agreement and the sale deed can have different amounts if both parties agree to modify the sale price between the signing of the agreement and the execution of the deed. However, it is essential to update all relevant documents to reflect the final agreed-upon amount accurately.

2. What is the validity of a sale agreement?

The validity of a sale agreement is typically determined by the terms mentioned in the agreement itself. It is often valid until the specified date of execution of the sale deed or until the fulfillment of all the agreed-upon terms and conditions.

3. Who keeps the original sale agreement?

Both parties should retain a copy of the original sale agreement for their records. However, it is advisable to register the agreement with the relevant authorities to give it legal validity and to avoid potential disputes.

4. When should an agreement be signed as a deed?

An agreement should be signed as a deed when all the agreed-upon terms and conditions have been fulfilled, and both parties are ready for the final transfer of ownership. The deed becomes legally binding once it is signed and registered with the appropriate authority.

5. Who signs as a deed?

Both the buyer and the seller need to sign the sale deed. Additionally, two witnesses must also sign the deed to attest to its authenticity. The signatures of the parties and witnesses make the deed legally valid and enforceable.

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