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What Does It Mean to Buy "Cuerpo Cierto"?

In real estate transactions, properties can be purchased either by unit of measure or as "cuerpo cierto" (as-is). This latter method addresses potential discrepancies in the actual size of the property upon delivery.

Definition and Legal Basis

Buying a property as "cuerpo cierto" means acquiring it as a single unit for a fixed price, regardless of any subsequent differences in its actual size. This is outlined in Article 1471 of the Civil Code, which states: "In the sale of a property for a lump sum and not based on unit measurement, there shall be no increase or decrease in price even if the actual size or number differs from what was stated in the contract."

Relevant Jurisprudence

The Madrid Provincial Court's ruling No. 425/2015 clarifies that when buying a property as "cuerpo cierto," the buyer consents to the purchase based on their direct inspection and assessment, not on the recorded measurements. Therefore, discrepancies in the registered size do not affect the sale.

Application and Limitations

This type of purchase applies only to already constructed properties. It ensures the property is bought as a whole for a single price, with no grounds for the buyer to claim a price adjustment if the actual size is less than expected.

Terminology and Contract Language

While the term "cuerpo cierto" might not always appear in contracts, phrases like "lump sum price" serve the same purpose. The key is to clearly state that the property is purchased as an entire unit for a fixed total price.

Additional Considerations

The Supreme Court's ruling No. 450/2011 emphasizes the need for clear boundary delineation in "cuerpo cierto" sales, using geographical features, roads, or boundary markers.

In summary, purchasing a property as "cuerpo cierto" means accepting it as it is, without the possibility of price adjustments for size discrepancies. This approach ensures transparency and agreement on the terms of the sale for both parties.

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