Must a real estate contract be written?

Asked on July 17, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In most cases verbal contracts are legal and enforceable. An exception to this are real estate contracts are an exception. In virtually all states, they must be in writing in order to be binding. While oral real estate contracts are not illegal per se, courts will not enforce them.

Note: If you need a mortgage loan to complete a real estate purchase, lenders require a fully written and signed sales contract.

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