Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn


Jamaica is a beautiful country with a cosmopolitan culture. This rich cultural landscape has created an almost insatiable appetite to own property in Jamaica. Prospective buyers fall into three market segments: local residents, the Jamaican Diaspora, and foreigners. Buying and selling real estate in Jamaica is marked by an absence of standardized contract. Thus the process is heavily dependent upon the involvement of lawyers.

The Meaning of Conveyancing:

The exchange or transfer of real estate is known as conveyancing. That is, to transfer or deliver land or property to another or to perform an act that is intended to create one or more property interests regardless of whether the act is actually effective. The usual means of transfer is by deed-written instrument on paper.

Conveyancing can take three forms. A primary or an original conveyance is one in which an estate such as feoffment, gift, lease, exchange or partition is done. A secondary conveyance is one that follows an earlier conveyance and serves only to enlarge, confirm, alter, restrain, restore, or transfer the interest created by the primary conveyance. A voluntary conveyance is one made without valuable consideration.

Other terms that you may come across are:

mesne conveyance- an intermediate conveyance

present conveyance- one that takes effect at once as opposed to the future

conveyancer-a lawyer who does conveyancing

conveyee-one to whom property is transferred is conveyed

conveyor– one who transfers or delivers title to another.

The Five Stages of Conveyancing:

In brief, there are five stages of the conveyancing process:

1.                  Pre-contract negotiations

2.                  Exchange of Contracts

3.                  Pre-Completion Procedures

4.                  Completion

5.                  Post-Completion

Pre-Contract Negotiations- Stage 1

The buyer and the seller must work out their respective positions.  It is not the duty or role of the lawyer to undertake negotiations. The operative word is KNOW in the context of what you the buyer are buying and what you the seller are selling.

The objective is to arrive at all the terms especially the price and the extent of the property that is being sold and conversely bought. The parties must discuss and agree to any and all conditions such as key dates when contracts are to be exchanged and the completion date.

Exchange of Contracts-Stage 2

After the parties agree upon the terms, then the services of an attorney should be utilized to draw or write the sale-purchase agreement or other modes of transfer. The identities of the parties must be mutually verified. Attorneys should check for conflict of interests before deciding on accepting a party as his or her client. Most attorneys in Jamaica will insist on receiving written instructions from their client.

Buyers would be prudent to perform the followings steps at this stage:

i           Secure mortgage commitment pre-qualification or firm commitment

ii          Make searches of title rec