Are Verbal Agreements to Sell Real Estate in Texas Enforceable?
Answer Attributed to Tiago Title’s Tip of the Week!
Sean A. Clemmensen | President & General Counsel
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.