Does buyer have recourse when verbal agreement made to purchase house is not honored? Agent says "boss sold house."

Asked by Coleen Cornwell, Fresno, CA Sat Apr 14, 2012

I said by phone/email I'd make deposit and fill out contract. Agent said, no, Saturday would be fine; he'd take house off market for me.

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10
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Apr 17, 2012
Hi Coleen:


Speak with an attorney and/or the agent's Broker Manager, especially if you have this conversation via e-mail. Verbal agreements may not have any recourse, however, the e-mail might.

Even though you made an intention to purchase a house, verbal or in writing, it is not sold until:

1. The owner of the house signs off on the purchase contract and purchase price.
2. Escrow is opened, funds are transferred and new title is recorded.

Also, agents can not take listings off of the market without the owners written request.

Good luck!

Kat
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Sun Apr 15, 2012
Verbal agreements are not enforecable in most cases. To be a contract it must be in writing and signed by all parties involved. You may have some recourse if they were your buyer broker. You can contact your states real estate commission and check to see if any laws were violated. Remember only what is in writing is considered a contract. You may also want to contact a lawyer to get a free consoltation
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
What a wonderful resource. I'm 65, married forever, now divorcing, so first-time buyer. I was just leaving to go see the house and read email that the house had been sold. Almost had a heart attack. More to do with being able to trust mankind. Broker won't even call me back. Posted ?, read answers, and calmed down. Up today and CARPE DIEM. Thank you, All.
Flag Sun Apr 15, 2012
Johnny James, Agent, Palmdale, CA
Sun Apr 15, 2012
You did not have a contract or an agreement. What you had was an understanding that did not work out your way.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
So - we're not attorneys. We are taught that all real estate agreements must be in writing. However - this doesn't mean that you do not have judicial recourse; we can't advise you except to recommend that you consult with an attorney.
0 votes
Ron Escobar -…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Any contract for Real Property must be in writing by statute, in order to be enforceable... Is called the statute of frauds... There are few exceptions, but your succinct description does not seem to fit any of them... There are lots of properties, so do t worry about it too much... Or this one may fall out of escrow, so be nice and stick around, and you may get another chance ;)
0 votes
George Salaz…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
You should consult with an attorney. California Real Estate Law requires that all Real Estate Contracts be in writing.

George Salazar
WestsideGeorge.com
Prudential California Realty
323.710.1770
0 votes
George Salaz…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
You should consult with an attorney. California Real Estate Law requires that all Real Estate Contracts shall be in writing.

George Salazar
WestsideGeorge.com
Prudential California Realty
323.710.1770
0 votes
Susan Bo'ur, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Coleen,
Everything needs to be in writing to be enforceable.
That's unfortunate..I can only imagine how frustrated and upset you must be.
I would be to.
Susan Bo'ur Realtor Coldwell Banker
Susan@BeverlyHillsLuxuryFlats.com
(310) 600-4240
0 votes
Jack Mitchell, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Unfortunately, no. One of the fundamental tenets of real estate law is that all agreements must be in writing. Oral agreements are unenforceable
0 votes
Jane Peters, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Apr 14, 2012
Sorry, but a verbal agreement is not an binding agreement. Morally or ethically is may be wrong, but legally.......
0 votes
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