Sales Vs Agreement to Sell

In the world of commerce and business transactions, the terms sales and agreement to sell are often mentioned. While they may sound similar, they are actually different concepts that companies must understand in order to make informed decisions. In this article, we will discuss the differences between sales and agreements to sell.


A sale refers to a transaction in which the ownership of goods or products is transferred from the seller to the buyer. This means that the buyer acquires the right to use and dispose of the goods in any way they see fit. In a sale, the seller and buyer usually come to an agreement on the price, terms of payment, and other relevant details.

For example, if a car dealership sells a car to a customer, the ownership of the car is transferred to the customer, who can then use and sell it as they please. The dealership, on the other hand, receives payment for the car and has no further claim to it.

Agreement to Sell

An agreement to sell, on the other hand, refers to a transaction in which the seller agrees to transfer ownership of goods or products to the buyer at a future date. In an agreement to sell, the seller retains ownership of the goods until certain conditions are met. These conditions are usually spelled out in the agreement and may include payment of the purchase price or the completion of certain tasks by either party.

For instance, if a farmer agrees to sell his crop to a food processing company, he may sign an agreement to sell the crop when it is ripe and ready for harvest. The food processing company agrees to purchase the crop at a predetermined price and pays the farmer once the crop is delivered.

Differences between Sales and Agreement to Sell

The main difference between sales and agreements to sell lies in when the transfer of ownership takes place. In a sale, ownership is transferred immediately, while in an agreement to sell, ownership is transferred at a later date after certain conditions have been met.

Another difference is the risk of loss. In a sale, the buyer assumes the risk of loss once ownership is transferred, while in an agreement to sell, the seller retains the risk of loss until the transfer of ownership occurs.

Which One to Choose

Whether to opt for a sale or an agreement to sell depends on the specific circumstances of the transaction. Sales are more straightforward and offer immediate ownership transfer, which is beneficial when a company needs to raise funds quickly. On the other hand, agreements to sell can be useful when the goods being sold are not yet available or are still being produced.

In conclusion, understanding the differences between sales and agreements to sell is important in making informed decisions in business and commerce. Companies need to carefully consider their options and choose the one that best meets their needs and circumstances.