Q: I" /> Is A Verbal Offer Binding

Is A Verbal Offer Binding

Dated: 11/08/2014

Views: 1803

Q: I made an offer on a house, turned down, made counter offer, verbal agreement was made at that offer. When we went to put earnest money down was told they had a better offer and were sh– out of luck. Another Realtor jumped in with his client with a higher offer and took the house away from us. There was a verbal agreement with the sellers, is there any legal recourse than can be taken? Or can any actions be taken with the Realtor that cut in on the sale and deal? I think Realtors are like car salesmen, can’t trust any of them…. 
–Anonymous, South Wilmington, IL
A: Right now these things are happening. You cant do anything without it on paper here in Illinois. Its just a bad situation. The listing agent should of informed your agent that a higher offer came in. I wouldn’t say we are car salesmen though. There are a lot of good agents out there.
Matt Laricy is a Realtor® with Americorp Real Estate in Chicago, IL.
A: I am not a lawyer; however, in general, contracts to buy and sell real estate must be in writing and signed by both the buyer and the seller. Verbal agreements are generally unenforceable. If you have any legal recourse, it would most likely be against the seller. The Realtor who “cut in on the sale and deal” was simply working on behalf of his client/customer. Your real estate broker, if you were working with one, should have done the same for you. This is an instance that makes a good argument for hiring a Realtor to protect your interests. If you feel strongly that you were damaged in this transaction, you should speak with a real estate attorney to discuss your options. 
Phil Lunnon is a Realtor® with Lunnon Realty in Lakewood, CO.
A: As with any type of business there are good and bad people. ALWAYS get your contracts in writing. Especially in real estate. I’ve never worked with anyone on a verbal agreement. Although in some states a verbal agreement is legal is isn’t always binding and there is room for “he said she said” If you don’t want to work with a Realtor because you “don’t trust them” then get a good real estate attorney. Realtors that are members of NAR have a code of ethics that they need to adhere to. MOST are ethical. If the sellers got a better offer in writing and yours was verbal and escrow was not opened, they have every right to take another offer regardless of if a Realtor was involved. Get representation is what I say, this way you are covered! 
Rosanne Nitti is a Realtor® with RMN Investments & Realty Services in Laguna Beach, CA.
A: Unfortunately, verbal agreements are not acceptible or legal in real estate transactions. All real estate transactions must be in writing. Realtors miss out on homes all the time especially when there are multiple offers. It is sometimes who gets the deal signed first who wins. Other times the seller might like an offer better than another and it’s THEIR CHOICE to pick the offer they want. They may counter all offers, counter only a few or not counter all and accept one outright. So don’t blame Realtors, it’s the seller’s choice. If the seller wanted to choose your offer, they would have come back to you irregardless of other offers on the table. 
Beverly Hourlier is a Realtor® with Hilltop Chateau Realty in San Diego, CA.
A: Dear South Wilmington, ILOnly offers made in writing and signed and accepted by both sellers and buyers are legal. I am so sorry that you lost your house to another buyer, but clearly another offer in writing was made and accepted before yours could be fully signed and delivered.I am also very sorry that you feel that Realtors are not to be trusted. If you feel you have be slighted or have an issue with your Realtor, you might want to talk to the managing broker or the local Realtor association executive officer.Best wishes to you.Joyce Mitchell 
Joyce Mitchell is a Realtor® with Mitchell & Associates Real Estate in Bigfork, MT.
A: The law of the land (at least in every state I know of) is that agreements for real property must be in writing. SO unless the verbal agreement was reduced to writing and signed by the sellers (you don’t need to have signed), you cannot enforce it and they can accept another offer. That is a tricky part about the way the process works. I am an exclusive buyer’s agent and I always provide that the sellers have to sign the final agreement first after we reach verbal agreement. Many seller agents push back on that but I usually insist. 
Linda Walters is a Realtor® with Sage Realty LLC in Wayne, PA.
A: In North Carolina, the “deal” cannot be enforced until it is in writing on a fully executed contract – meaning in writing. Until then, any buyer can come in and make another offer and the seller can accept or decline. It’s up to the seller whether or not they want to honor your verbal agreement or not. The Realtor just does what his client wants.Really – the other buyer’s Realtor moved quickly and did his client a service by getting them the house. As a buyer agent, I move as quickly as possible to get things in writing so that something like this does not happen to my clients. Unfortunately, this can happen with “hot” properties. Hope this helps. 
Holly Pasut is a Realtor® with Hines and Associates Realty in Cornelius, NC.
A: Laws vary from state to state; California requires ALL real estate contracts to be in writing. When you negotiated with the seller, were you dealing directly with the seller or did you have a real estate agent representing you? Your agent would be aware of the laws in Illinois.The Realtor who presented his client’s offer was acting in the best interest of that client (as any Realtor should); please remember it was the SELLER who disregarded your verbal agreement and took the higher offer.One reason many buyers eventually decide to have a Realtor represent them is to give them full representation — and have someone who knows the rules and regulations, able to remind the Seller and Seller’s agent to abide by them. Good idea, too, when purchasing a “For Sale By Owner”; you’ll benefit from the knowledge and negotiating skills of your agent — writing an offer which legally binds the Seller to your contract and including penalties if Seller backs out.
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Shirley Henderson

Being transplanted into the little town of Easley in 1969,from Ohio was a great shocker. So,I guess you could say I'm a Half Breed Southern. I’ve really enjoyed the people and the quietness of the a....

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