A Verbal Agreement is Not Worth the Paper It's Written On

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with The Law Office of Mark Tucker

There is the old story about men of integrity who did business with just a handshake. That's fine and dandy, but by contrast, why are there so many silly love songs? I guess the point, as obvious as it is, has not been made quite clear yet. Because language is imperfect, and at times is impressionistic, a well-written contact can help avoid misunderstanding, assumptions, gaps in meaning.

I highly recommend the standard forms used by licensed real estate professionals. Each numbered line represents someone else's painful learning curve and will help the current user avoid the pitfalls of miscommunication. As an attorney, this advice may cost me a lucrative opportunity, but I would rather prevent or resolve a problem that merely stir the pot. 

Use the standard forms, they are there for a reason, and if possible, avoid free-handed addendum's. 

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Ambassador
1,328,942
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Mark, but standard contracts may not address some specifics, so why avoid addenda? What is wrong with the addenda?

Actually, here in Florida Addenda supercedes certain provisions of the  contract, and when in conflict, the provision in the Addenda governs...

But hey, I am not an attorney

January 25, 2011 10:56 PM #1
Rainmaker
407,620
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

I disagree.  If you have a trustworthy agent - you can do a verbal - read my recent blog...We agreed to an answer last Wednesday at 2pm...just executed the contract today....

As a matter of fact...I have worked with Jon Zolsky and he is another agent that I would trust to do a verbal agreement with.

January 25, 2011 10:58 PM #2
Rainmaker
179,453
Brenda Whitman
CENTURY 21 Real Estate Center, Inc., Laramie, Wyoming - Laramie, WY
Associate Broker, Laramie, Wyoming

Hi Mark, that's quite an endorsement of the regular forms we all use - which I'm told in Wyoming (and most places) they are drafted by attorney's anyway.  So for us realtors, most of whom don't hold law degrees, it just makes sense!  Rest assured though, we always advise people to consult an attorney with anything they don't understand so hopefully some of that business comes back to you!

January 25, 2011 11:01 PM #3
Ambassador
781,759
Fred Griffin Licensed Real Estate Broker
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Florida. Call 850-339-4861

Verbal Agreements for the purchase of Real Estate in Florida will not hold up in Court.

And, I deflect to you, Counselor - couldn't a Real Estate Agent potentially face a Civil Suit for failing to put something in writing, if such failure resulted in damage to a Client?

January 26, 2011 12:09 AM #4
Rainmaker
824,584
Marc Swartz
Toronto, ON
CPA, CA - Toronto, Durham & York Regions, Ontario

Hi Mark - I sometimes have had verbal agreements with certain clients of mine over the years and have had no problems.  Of course, for real estate transactions, written agreements are required.

January 26, 2011 12:24 AM #5
Rainer
116,549
Don Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services - Idabel, OK

How true that is.  Love the title to your post.  A written offer is the only kind! 

January 26, 2011 08:47 PM #6
Rainmaker
608,437
Sheila Newton Team -- Anderson & Greenville SC Real Estate
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - C. Dan Joyner - Anderson, SC
--Residential/Short Sales/Foreclosures

LOL.. That is true... I'm glad to hear you support the standard forms.. I have heard a lot of attorneys say that it is better to let them write one up... ( and most of those were NOT real estate attorneys!!)...

February 08, 2011 08:35 PM #7
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Mark Tucker

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