Must a contract for the sale of real estate be in writing?

Asked on July 25, 2015 under Real Estate Law, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In most cases oral contracts are legal and enforceable, however contracts for the sale of real estate are an exception. These contracts must be in writing in order to be binding and enforceable. While an oral contract is not illegal per se, a court will not enforce a unwritten real estate contract. Additionally, if you need a mortgage to complete a home purchase, lenders require a fully written and signed sales contract.

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