Gawie le Roux on
Agreements of Sale
Underlying legal principles (Part 1)

Content of seminar notes

The seminar notes deals with the underlying legal principles which must be mastered before one can think of drafting even a straightforward agreement of sale. These principles are:

  • The value of the “abstract theory of transfer” and its application by our courts
  • The application of the “doctrine of notice” to classic double-sale transactions and possibly to other transactions
  • The vital importance of knowing and understanding exactly what the “essential terms”, “material terms” and “tacit terms” of an agreement of sale are

Difficult concepts are explained in simple terms which can be readily understood by property practitioners. The manual follows a practical rather than an academic approach.

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Aim of the notes

The aim of the notes is to equip the people who regularly draft, interpret and execute agreements of sale with the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge to enable them to draft better agreements of sale.

Bad drafting

Agreements of sale are drafted by property practitioners or even by laymen every time immovable property changes hands. But, to judge from the large number of court cases concerning agreements of sale that serve before the high courts in South Africa every year, there are some remarkable shortcomings and defects in the agreements drafted for both small and large transactions, by both professional and lay persons.

The Supreme Court of Appeal * recently described a clause in an agreement drafted by an estate agent as follows: “It is a model of neither language nor precision.” It contained “anomalies” and a further “apparently meaningless provision”. Remarks like these are not uncommon, as is evident from various court judgments in recent years.

* Royal Anthem Investments v Yuen Fan Lau (941/2012) [2014] ZASCA 19 (26 March 2014)


  • Achieve greater confidence in the drafting, evaluation and execution of agreements of sale
  • Learn from the mistakes of others, as highlighted by our courts
  • Avoid the numerous pitfalls associated with the drafting of agreements of sale
  • Upgrade your drafting skills, so that you are able to draft plain, clear, understandable, unequivocal and unambiguous agreements of sale - that is agreements, that would stand the test of time and be unassailable in court
  • Avoid unnecessary litigation, professional embarrassment, claims of professional negligence and the loss of valuable clients due to a questionable agreement of sale

A Series of seminar topics

This is the first of a series of six topics to be offered over a period of five years, Deo volente. One or two seminars will be held per annum. The first topic lays the all-important theoretical foundation for the seminars to follow.

General content of all seminars

The content of all seminars is based almost exclusively on the principles laid down by our courts in recent and most important court cases. Each case pinpoints a problem area or areas and often shows up poor drafting.

Comprehensive notes

You will receive a well-researched and comprehensive set of notes to use in practice. These notes contain numerous case studies based on South African court cases which are usually the result of badly worded clauses in agreements of sale that give rise to uncertainty and ambiguity and thereby leave the door open to costly litigation.

Compiler - Gawie le Roux

Gawie le Roux is an attorney, conveyancer and entrepreneur. He is also the director of the Centre for Conveyancing Practice and its sister entity, the Centre for Legal Compliance. He has established himself in legal training through his study notes on conveyancing practice and the lectures he has presented at various centres throughout the country for over 21 years to prepare attorneys and candidate attorneys for the conveyancing examination. Under his guidance a successful course to prepare candidates for the notarial examination has also been developed.

Gawie is also involved in the property market as an active investor. He is the managing director of two private property investment companies.

Seminarnotes Cover



Gawie Le Roux
Gawie le Roux