“They Can’t Do That!” (Can They??)

I’ve never had it happen to one of my clients.

But, I’m willing to guaranty you that somewhere in the Twin Cities this Spring, there’s going to be a Buyer (or several) who thought they had a done deal . . . ¬†and suddenly doesn’t.

sweatThe explanation?

In between the Buyer and Seller verbally coming to terms and the Seller signing off, the Seller received a better offer.

And decided to take it.

Oral Contract Oxymoron

Unfortunately for the spurned Buyer, the Seller can legally do that (however slippery it may be ethically).

That’s because an oral contract to sell real estate isn’t a contract at all; to be enforceable, it has to be in writing.

Savvy Buyers (and their agents) who are aware of that — especially ones who are in multiple offers (or worried they may be) — keep the heat on until the Seller actually signs, and the listing¬†agent (representing the Seller) delivers the executed contract to the Buyer’s agent (indicating what lawyers call “constructive receipt”).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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