Adventures in Negotiating Land Purchase, Part III

peter's picture

As you can read in parts I ( and II ( we had spent quite a lot of time negotiating to buy a piece of land, paid for the survey, etc.  Well, count that as a few months and a few hundred plus dollars of tuition.

We did finally have a figure that was close enough to the size of the land (only 80% of the size they had originally argued, due to a judicial settlement between the owners and one group of tenants, that was conveniently not mentioned in the original negotiations).  But in our renegotiations due to the changed size of the lot, we had made a subtle mistake - instead of agreeing to raise the price by 20,000 pesos to pay off some other tenants, we agreed to pay off those other tenants ourselves without a specific amount noted.

We took the initiative to talk with the Barangay Captain, who said we could come by his house Saturday morning with the other tenants and the owner.  It sounded like an informal chat.

However, when Saturday arrived, we were at the Barangay, and were told to go to the Barangay Hall, where we were the subject of an official meeting of the Barangay, complete with several anthems and signing attendance forms.  The Barangay Captain, who had previously always seemed very nice, hardly ever looked at me, and just ran through the proceedings quickly in Visayan, hardly giving any time for anything to be translated.

The payment the Barangay Captain mentioned was a hundred thousand something, which was, he claimed, ten percent.  When I asked Milyn to explain that this computation was off, and that ten percent was a different number, the tenant became jubilant, thinking that we had agreed to ten percent.  Unfortunately, we did not have much bargaining room.  I asked Milyn to translate the direct question to the Captain whether he thought it was fair.  I had to tell her to repeat herself again when I heard his answer.  Anyhow, both times he refused to answer the question, answering that if we didn't like it we could go try to apply through the DAR office.

So I decided we would just eat it - I said if they agreed to give us a third of the harvested corn and to immediately cease harvesting coconuts, leaving them for us, then we'd accept their price.  The tenant agreed.  His family members (who he had sublet some parts to) did not object either.  So we wrote down all the terms we had agreed to, and then we read the document out loud.  When we were doing so, the tenants decided to renegotiate and refused to agree to leaving the coconuts, then started to argue their case.

Frankly, we already had an agreement, and it was generous.  Why the tenants have a right to any compensation at all is beyond the power of my mind, having done nothing but take from the land, not improving it whatsoever. But going back on the agreement, that's just not neighborly.

So we thanked everythone there and left.  I have no interest in living in that place anymore. They can keep their coconuts, I guess.

Later my wife told me that the other tenants were relatives of the Barangay Captain.  It's not easy to make sense of this country in a hurry.

I did not get video of the original agreement, but I do have this video of the reading and the renegotiation requested by the tenants.

hello well it seems you are

hello well it seems you are having a difficult time inthis transaction. i hadmy wife listen to the conversation . im blessed with a attorny secretary for a wife . and we have made several prchases hear in the philip;pines . ome thing is to use a attorny to get more enlightend . it was see,imgly obvious to us there was some confusion on your partners understanding . trying to help you out . she did the best she could do but there needed to be better understanding on her part. the agreement is fully for the tennat and it was not to be missunderstood . the agreement was totally missrepresentation of the visayan terms to english . it was not mentionesd in bisayon according to my wife . it was confusion on her part and the sgreement . tell them all to screw find a simple easy one to purchase . as soon as you pay the sellor and tenanat are not responsible for the harvest up to july 31 . i swear everyone hear is disclsic , atleast in visayon terms in english all backwords

hey if you wanty a peice of land to harvest and live on   look up my land for sale on craigslist philippines  in kapitagon digos city . over a hector of banana plantation with resthouse and everything needed to sustain living . we do good monthly on this land but have a hotel on the beahc in digos city now so we are noty utilizing the propertys . we harvest monhtly and make about 5 k a month ion pesos . but there is possibilitys of side crips is emense see picts on craigslist .davao banana plantaion 1.2 hector 650ooo pesos ok try us send message

 try contacting me at care to talk more about this

thanks for the tips

Hi, thanks for the tips, although i couldn't understand all your comments completely.  Yes, my wife's a peasant, not an attorney or attorney's secretary but she does pretty well considering only half of a formal education.  It's too bad I hadn't videotaped the whole meeting or you could have seen the part where the tenant agreed in the first place.  Only after that did I write down the agreement we'd come to, which we were reading.

One person in the philventures group also suggested we should have made the written agreement one line at a time, as we were making the agreement, which makes sense.  Overall, though, this meeting had no hope because we never should have let the terms get turned around on us for us to be in this negotiation at all.  (You have to read parts I and II to understand that whole history - we'd originally negotiated better, but then when the land size was adjusted we had slipped up.)

But between the tenant going back on his word and the whole group of them making it into us-vs-them, I just lost any desire to live there as well.

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