CanI back off from a oral agreement to sell my car if I have not taken a downpayment?

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CanI back off from a oral agreement to sell my car if I have not taken a downpayment?

I put my car for sale. A interested buyer came to see the car and he gave me a price quote of $2500 which I agreed to. However he wanted to pay by check and I wanted cash. Iwas very apprehensive about it, but I told him he could come to finish all the paperwork and take the car the next day. I did not take any down payment amount from him. The next interested buyer came. He looked at the car and told he will give me in hand cash, so I told the first buyer I could not sell him my car. Now he’s is threatening me.

Asked on June 30, 2011 under Business Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An oral agreement is still an agreement, or contract. Once you entered into it, you are bound by its terms. If you agreed to sell the car to A as long as he provided came back the next day to complete the deal, then you could not sell the car to B--at least not unless and until A failed to come back and complete the transaction. That is, if A breached his obligations, that would likely let you void or terminate the agreement and sell to B; but if the next day had not yet come, so it was still possible for A to fulfill his obligations, then you could not sell it to B. The fact that you did not take a downpayment does not matter if you did not require one on the spot.


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