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inna ivchenko, Real Estate Pro in Calabasas, CA

Would you trust a hand shake while buying/selling a RE property In California?

Asked by inna ivchenko, Calabasas, CA Sat Mar 31, 2012

It is a law and rule #1 for realtors: every thing should be in writing. But we still hear about 'handshake' sealed transactions:)
What do you think? Does trust is a valid proof of a RE agreement?

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I have to share from my own experience of selling my own home. I trusted the family that purchased my home to my demise. You cannot leave anything to chance. EVERYTHING must be in writing! While you feel you can trust people, they will turn on you in a second and get an instant case of amnesia of what they promised they would do. Had a friend not stepped in at the last minute after my oh-so-trusted buyer kicked me out of my home because his circumstances changed and had an instant case of amnesia, my new address would have been... Homeless at the Walmart Parking Lot living in a motor home with my large dog and two cats. To everyone, while I miss the days that a handshake was your word and your word was your word, we live in a very self-centered, selfish and corrupt society where people no longer care about other people. People no longer care how they treat or hurt others because it's an "all about me" world. I miss the simpler days for sure! EVERYTHING MUST BE IN WRITING!!!!! I will now exit my soap box... have a blessed day!
3 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 1, 2012
Thank you, Inna... I wanted to share my experience in the hopes that others take a little pearl of wisdom from it. It was a very difficult time, a very stressful time. I agree with you ... I miss the days where a genleman's handshake was your word.
Flag Tue Apr 3, 2012
Thanks for being authentic in your answer, I do think your answer is the best.
Thanks you!
Flag Mon Apr 2, 2012
wow.....that is really good share! Thanks Jamie.....i had shivers...brrr.
old days when words were same as gold are gone for many....
Flag Mon Apr 2, 2012
So true!
Flag Sun Apr 1, 2012
By law, all real estate transactions in California must be in writing ("Statute of Frauds"). This not only to protect the buyer and seller, but also all the other parties associated with the transaction, even if that only includes the courts when the contract or parts of it are later disputed.
Regardless, I wouldn't trust anyone with a verbal contract for anything worth more than one cent. But I'm that type of person.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
No. In California a handshake means nothing legally for a real estate transaction. There is no disadvantage to putting it in writing and every sdvantage to putting it in writing.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
Even with the CAR contract there can still be miscommunications, disputes,.... Don't see an upside and don't see how you can record it which is also a scary proposition. Not with hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
The thing about a written contract is that the terms are enforceable in a court of law. The thing about a handshake agreement is that the terms are not enforceable in a court of law.

There's always someone who has a handshake deal that closes, but it wasn't the norm "back then," by any stretch of the imagination.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
Inna - you have opened our minds once again. Maybe back in the 1930's - but today, not a chance :-) Be Well...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
I trust handshakes but I want the purchase contract and loan application in writing, signed and dated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
Hello Inna,

I have heard of such transactions also.
Sometimes it has to do with cash...and a quest for anonimity for the parties...
Yet, it's not something that we would want to get involved as realtors.

The old-fashioned handshake (although it sounds honorable) would be a cause for lots of trouble...

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
305-904-2355
IrinaKaran@gmail.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 1, 2012
I'm with Janet on this one

Janet M. Nation, CBR, Agent, Baldwin, NY
"I would trust a hand shake when buying or selling real estate anywhere on this planet."

I would however add, 'For as long as I can hold my breath. That is the time you have to present it in writing." Yep, I think I could do it with a strait face. On a good day that is about 100 seconds.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 1, 2012
100% NOT! No contract--no deal.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
Not even if it was the POPE!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
I would just add that even if the handshake was in good faith and no one intends to violate it, the parties may remember it differently. Apart from a written contract making it enforcable, it also memorializes it so that both parties are agreeing to something that won't be later remembered/interpreted differently. In other words, there is more than just the trust factor involved.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
I agree with you Jenet!
Flag Sun Apr 1, 2012
Inna, all real estate transactions have to be in writing. You might be in a procuring cause situation. Check with your local real estate association and your broker, they should give some advice.


Good luck,

Lee
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
I complete a hand shake transaction in Ohio about 15 years ago! It went great! However, things have changed and now I am in California. Thus, we must live by todays restrictions and guidelines as not all people are capable of hold to their word. I do however trust in mankind, it is just best to back it up with something in writing. Well, and it is the law for California!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 3, 2012
Real Estate is the only transaction where verbal contracts are not legally binding. Protect yourself!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 3, 2012
No. Needs to be fully executed by all involved parties. There are far too many details in a transaction to have a clear picture of who accepted what. Many times a person is fixated on one term, like price, when the other party hears that but is more fixated on terms like being vacant... small details can slip through the cracks and it will blow up in their respective faces..
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 3, 2012
At 66 years old I have to say that gone are the days of handshakes and doing deals on a bar room napkin albeit I've actually done a fair share of biz on the 19th hole after tossing back a couple of cool ones.

But unfortunately in today's very man-eating social environ and with the "Statute of Frauds" requirements as John so aptly pointed out those days are long gone. Add to that California's infamous "lawsuit-crazed mentality" those options are forever off the table.

Of course having said all the above I guess if you're a drug or arms dealer you could probably figure out a way to do it. LOL!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
Dear Inna,

My lawyer always says....if you don't have it in writing...you dont' have it. Handshakes are nice and friendly but they won't hold up in court.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
Regardless of the location, anything short of a written and accepted contract, will carry no legal weight.

I on the other hand believe in a persons word and would stand behind both it and a hand shake come hell or high water......call me old school, it's OK!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
Yes, ONLY in writing!

I want to add a story.........not probably related, but reading about Jamie experience, i"d like to add it here.....:
My grandparents owned a little business in a little town. They knew every single one and all about everyone in that small community. I remember hearing : "That man's as good as his word," "if she says it, you can take it to the bank," etc.
I grew up with : "your word is your honor".
And I teach my kids that way.

RE contract must be in writing, but if someone promises something, they should honor that.


Don't promise if you are not going to do it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 2, 2012
I would not trust a hand shake when buying or selling real estate anywhere on this planet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 1, 2012
in one word...no. no verbal agreements will be honored if there is a dispute over price, length of settlement, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 1, 2012
A contract is not valid unless it is in writing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 1, 2012
Hey Inna,

No way! It needs to be in writing!!

Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller WIlliams Hollywood Hills
mcarrabba@kw.com
(323) 899-2900
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
Handshake good for maybe 2 hours tops, then get it in writing.

I don't look back on this same Trulia thread for answers posted after mine.

EmilyKnell1@yahoo.com
562-430-3053 c
Realtor Since 1996
Main Street Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
I think get EVERYTHING in writing and signed by both parties.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 31, 2012
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