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Are Verbal Agreements to Sell Real Estate in Texas Enforceable?

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Are Verbal Agreements to Sell Real Estate in Texas Enforceable?

No ! As a starting point, verbal contracts do exist and are legally enforceable in Texas, as a matter of law, if they meet necessary legal requirements and specificity. Adequate consideration must be given between the two parties of a verbal contract to make it binding. Adequate consideration is defined in two ways: (1) having a mutual reciprocal exchange [bargained for exchange] or (2) having legal value [an individual must do something that he or she is not legally obligated to do]. If adequate consideration is given between both parties and all other legal requirements are met, then a verbal contract may be held valid in a court of law.

However, verbal contracts are also limited by the Statute of Frauds. The Statute of Frauds requires a verbal agreement to sell real estate be reduced to writing and signed by the buyer and seller to become valid. While verbal negotiations of contracts can be a quicker way to reach an agreement, verbal agreements are not enforceable for the sale of real property.

Answer Attributed to Tiago Title’s Tip of the Week!
Sean A. Clemmensen | President & General Counsel

Notice: This website contains general information about possible legal and financial matters. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal or financial advice from your attorney, accountant or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal and financial matter you should consult your attorney, accountant or other professional legal services provider

2 thoughts on “Are Verbal Agreements to Sell Real Estate in Texas Enforceable?”

  1. I had a seller cash down payment check and we had agreement, I was getting g the paper work re done cause he wanted there to be a late penalty and he wanted something to be said about the remainder of the balance after the second 20000 payment. Now he got a cash offer and wants to back out, do I have a leg to stand on since he cashes the downpayment check

    1. Hello Derek, you should consult an attorney. Start with your title company and get their opinion. Agents and Brokers are not attorneys and have to stay in their lane when it comes to contract termination disputes.

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