Are verbal contracts binding for the sale of a house with some written proof binding?

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Are verbal contracts binding for the sale of a house with some written proof binding?

If my step-daughter agreed to sell her house that me and her father were renting with the understanding of buying in the future and she backed out after she was given $5000 towards the equity from us but there is no written contract for the sale can we hold her to it with a verbal contract? We also have an email from her stating she backed out of the deal to sell us the property.

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the "statute of frauds" all contracts for the sale of real property must be in writing signed by the party to be charged with specificity as to the terms of the sale between the parties. Ordinarily, oral contracts to sell property are not binding. However, if there is part performance by one party to the sale, the contract may be enforceable even though the agreement is oral.

In your situation, there might be enough part performance to have a binding contract to sell real property even though the agreement is oral. I recommend that you consult with a real estate attorney further about your question.


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