Refuse to sell to a particular buyer

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Refuse to sell to a particular buyer

Parents bought a home in their name, for me. I contributed 10k and have made the mortgage payments for over a year. The agreement going in was that when I was ready, they’d sell to me for what we paid 365K. I’m now ready to buy but they are mad at me right now, so are refusing to sell to me. I offered 385k and I’m pre-approved for my loan. Can they now refuse to sell to me. All done verbally.

Asked on February 11, 2019 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, they can refuse to sell to you:
1) As a general matter, a seller may refuse to sell to anyone so long as they are not engaging in race, ethnicity, color, religious, or disability-based discrimination.
2) In your state (and many others) by law, an agreement to sell real estate must be in writing to be enforceable (under what is traditionally called the "Statute of Frauds"). You can't bring a legal action to enforce an oral (that, not verbal, is the correct term for an unwritten) agreement. Here is link to the relevant statute: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t32c003.php


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