I am the registered owner of a parcel of land located in Tagaytay City, Cavite. I am thinking of selling the property. However, I am leaving the Philippines next year. I want to appoint my mother as my agent so I can dispose of the said property while I am out of the country. What document should I execute in order to authorize my mother to sell my parcel of land?
The provisions that address your situation are Articles 1874, 1877 and 1878 of the Civil Code:
“Article 1874. When a sale of a piece of land or any interest therein is through an agent, the authority of the latter shall be in writing; otherwise, the sale shall be void.
“Article 1877. An agency couched in general terms comprises only acts of administration, even if the principal should state that he withholds no power or that the agent may execute such acts as he may consider appropriate, or even though the agency should authorize a general and unlimited management.
“Article 1878. Special powers of attorney (SPA) are necessary in the following cases:
“(5) To enter into any contract by which the ownership of an immovable is transmitted or acquired either gratuitously or for a valuable consideration; xxx” (Emphases supplied)
In the case of Aspille vs NICORP Management and Development Corp. et al. (GR 214057, Oct. 19, 2015), the Supreme Court, through Associate Justice Jose Mendoza, elucidated:
“When the sale of a piece of land or any interest thereon is through an agent, the authority of the latter shall be in writing; otherwise, the sale shall be void. Thus, the authority of an agent to execute a contract for the sale of real estate must be conferred in writing and must give him specific authority, either to conduct the general business of the principal or to execute a binding contract containing terms and conditions which are in the contract he did execute. A special power of attorney is necessary to enter into any contract by which the ownership of an immovable is transmitted or acquired either gratuitously or for a valuable consideration. The express mandate required by law to enable an appointee of an agency (couched) in general terms to sell must be one that expressly mentions a sale or that includes a sale as a necessary ingredient of the act mentioned. For the principal to confer the right upon an agent to sell real estate, a power of attorney must so express the powers of the agent in clear and unmistakable language. When there is any reasonable doubt that the language so used conveys such power, no such construction shall be given the document. xxx Thus, when the authority is couched in general terms, without mentioning any specific power to sell or mortgage or to do other specific acts of strict dominion, then only acts of administration are deemed conferred.” (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, you need to execute a special power of attorney authorizing your mother as your agent to sell your property. Otherwise, the sale will be void. The law provides that a special power of attorney is necessary to enable an agent to enter into any contract by which the ownership of an immovable is transmitted or acquired either gratuitously or for a valuable consideration.
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. This advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
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