Verbal contract in Oregon for an automobile sale?

Hi, I posted an ad online to sell my car and after discussing with multiple
people, I agreed to a rate offered by someone. He came this weekend to check the
car and we agreed to get the title exchanged and complete the payment on Tuesday.
There was no written contract except for the communication online. also, there
was no payment made. I want to sell the car to someone else now. Am I legally
bound to sell my car to this guy because of the verbal contract and the online

Asked on January 14, 2018 under Business Law, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you are obligated to sell to him--assuming he comes by Tuesday and does what he's supposed to (i.e. pays). An oral contract ("oral," not "verbal," is the correct term for an unwritten contract) is formed when there is an offer (e.g. his offer to buy the car for a certain amount, on a certain day), acceptance of the offer (your agreement to it), and an exchange of "consideration," which is promises or things of value, from each side to the other, like your promise to sell him the car and his promise to pay a certain amount on a certain day. When you have offer, acceptance, and consideration, you have a contract, even if it is unwritten; with a few exceptions, which are not relevant here, an oral contract is as enforceable as a written one. If he comes as agreed and pays what he said he would, you have to sell to him; if he fails to show up to buy the car when promised, you may sell to someone else.

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