Can a verbal agreement to sell stand in court?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a verbal agreement to sell stand in court?

Our church board made a verbal
agreement with an individual to sell a
portion of land that we own. The buyer
wrote a check for a down payment and
was to pay the rest in a month. Several
years later we have received only about
65 of our money. We’ve gotten a little
here and there. But have received
nothing for the last two years. What
can we do?

Asked on January 23, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Arkansas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The verbal agreement won't stand in court because of the Statute of Frauds.  The Statute of Frauds requires that certain types of contracts be in writing, and one of those types of contracts is the sale of land  (real property).
The Statute of Frauds is a defense to enforcement of a contract which means that the opposing party can assert it to avoid paying.

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