The Contract

It is the selling party that draws up the contract for sale of land. The Law of Property Act of 1989 provided that contracts for the sale of land transacting after 26th September 1989 must be made in writing.

The contract will contain all the terms and items that the parties have agreed to pre-sale.

Subject to Contract

It is usual to include the term 'subject to contract' within the sale transacting, normally at the points of offer and acceptance. The buyer would make an offer for a property, usually through an estate agent and say 'I make this offer subject to contract and survey' - not that an offer would be legally binding without acceptance on the vendors part and a form of consideration to bind the agreement - usually in the form of a deposit.

Making an offer 'subject to contract' would allow the buyer to pull out without any legal recourse if the contract does not arrive or contains terms which are viewed as unsatisfactory and cannot be amended to an agreeable state.

Subject to Survey

As above, making an offer subject to survey would also allow the purchaser to pull away from the purchase if the survey results, which are usually received after the offer is made and accepted, report adverse results.