• Lot title transferable only after full payment of property bought

    Persida Acosta

    Persida Acosta

    Dear PAO,
    I bought a lot on installment. The seller and I already executed a Contract to Sell and we both agreed that a Deed of Absolute Sale will be executed once I have fully paid for the property. Can I have the lot title transferred in my name?

    Dear Romy,
    You cannot have the title of the lot transferred in your name by virtue of the contract to sell that you and the seller executed since the ownership of the lot subject of your contract has not yet been passed to you. Contracts to sell are mere agreements between the seller and the buyer to sell a property pending the happening of a condition, which is the full payment of the purchase price. Unlike a contract of sale where the title to the property bought passes to the vendee upon the delivery of the thing sold, in contract to sell, ownership is, by agreement, reserved in the seller and is not to pass to the buyer until full payment of the purchase price (Sps. Torrecampo vs. Dennis Alindogan and Heide Alindogan, GR No. 156405, February 28, 2007).

    Moreover, Section 53 of Presidential Decree (PD)1529 or the Property Registration Decree requires that the presentation of voluntary instrument conveying ownership over the property to another person shall be necessary before the transfer certificate of title on their custody may be canceled and a new one be issued, to wit:

    Section 53. Presentation of owner’s duplicate upon entry of new certificate. No voluntary instrument shall be registered by the Register of Deeds, unless the owner’s duplicate certificate is presented with such instrument, except in cases expressly provided for in this decree or upon order of the court, for cause shown.

    The production of the owner’s duplicate certificate, whenever any voluntary instrument is presented for registration, shall be conclusive authority from the registered owner to the Register of Deeds to enter a new certificate or to make a memorandum of registration in accordance with such instrument, and the new certificate or memorandum shall be binding upon the registered owner and upon all persons claiming under him, in favor of every purchaser for value and in good faith.


    Once you and the seller has executed a Deed of Absolute Sale upon the payment of the purchase price, you may have the title of the lot transferred in your name by presenting the same, together with the owner’s duplicate certificate of title, with the Registry of Deeds where the property was registered.

    We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts that you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.

    Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to dearpao@manilatimes.net


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