Real estate transactions can become complicated and frustrating, but they don't have to be. In most cases, there is a contract that protects you and the other party in the case that one of you wants to back out or violates the contract in some way.
Some people believe that it's enough to have a verbal contract, but in real estate, that's not usually the reality. Usually, the contract has to be in writing to allow it to become enforceable. Some documents that must be in writing include:
- Real-estate leases over a year in length
- Contracts over the state-required amount of money
- Contacts that last beyond the life of the person entering into it
- Real estate sales
The purpose of a written contract is that it guarantees that you can pull it out and read exactly what was written at any time. Additionally, the court has something to base its findings on, not just hearsay.
It is important to get a verbal contract, if you have one, on paper as soon as you can. For example, if you make a verbal contract with someone, ask that they will meet you at an attorney's office to make the contract official in the next few days or weeks. The attorney will ask you important questions about the contract and make sure it's legally binding. Doing this will protect you and guarantee that the verbal contract you made can stand up in court.
While many verbal contract will stand on their own, the above situations do require written contracts. Our site has more information.