G.R. No. 103577 (October 7, 1996)
Coronel et al. consummated the sale of his property located in Quezon City to respondent Alcaraz. Since the title of the property was still in the name of the deceased father of the Coronels, they agreed to transfer its title to their name upon payment of the down payment and thereafter an absolute deed of sale will be executed.
Alcaraz’s mother paid the down payment in behalf of her daughter and as such, Coronel made the transfer of title to their name. Notwithstanding this fact, Coronel sold the property to petitioner Mabanag and rescinded its prior contract with Alcaraz.
Whether or not the contract between the petitioner and the respondent was a contract to sell subject to a suspensive condition.
No. The agreement could not have been a contract to sell because the sellers herein made no express reservation of ownership or title to the subject parcel of land. Unlike in a contract to sell, petitioners in the case at bar did not merely promise to sell the property to private respondent upon the fulfillment of the suspensive condition. On the contrary, having already agreed to sell the subject property, they undertook to have the certificate of title change to their names and immediately thereafter, to execute the written deed of absolute sale.
Article 1475, in correlation with Article 1181, both of the Civil Code, plainly applies to the case.
Art. 1475. The contract of sale is perfected at the moment there is a meeting of minds upon the thing which is the object of the contract and upon the price.
From that moment, the parties may reciprocally demand performance, subject to the provisions of the law governing the form of contracts.
Art. 1181. In conditional obligations, the acquisition of rights, as well as the extinguishment or loss of those already acquired, shall depend upon the happening of the event which constitutes the condition.
What is clearly established by the plain language of the subject document is that when the said Receipt of Down Payment was prepared and signed by petitioners, the parties had agreed to a conditional contract of sale, consummation of which is subject only to the successful transfer of the certificate of title from the name of petitioners father to their names. In fact, the Court significantly notes that this suspensive condition was fulfilled. Thus, the conditional contract of sale between petitioners and private respondent became obligatory, the only act required for the consummation thereof being the delivery of the property by means of the execution of the deed of absolute sale in a public instrument.
What may be perceived from the respective undertakings of the parties to the contract is that petitioners had already agreed to sell the house and lot they inherited from their father, completely willing to transfer ownership of the subject house and lot to the buyer if the documents were then in order. It just so happened, however, that the transfer certificate of title was then still in the name of their father.
* Case digest by Vera Nataa, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018