Check These Out

Verbal Contract Negotiations

Tuesday, August 9, 2005 posted by Tommi Crow

Negotiating a home purchase contract can be an exhausting process. For the buyers, drafting an offer can take hours of work. For the sellers, it is rare that their terms are met entirely in the buyer’s first offer. Thus begins the offer/counter offer dance.

It is not uncommon for the offer/counter offer ritual to go more rounds than a heavy weight championship bout. If you are becoming exhausted, one short cut may be to engage in verbal negotiations. Buyer and seller talk with one another. In this more casual format, differences can be addressed and mutual agreement can take place in less time.

Keep material facts like offer price, repair allowances, seller disclosures, buyer qualification, etc. in written contract form. Consider talking things out between yourselves that involve more personal matters like closing dates, move in and possession dates, conveyance of personal property, etc. When everyone is in agreement on all the terms, put it in writing.

While verbal negotiations are often quicker and more simple, it is critical to remember that any verbal agreements involving real estate are not legally binding. A real estate sales contract is a complicated legal document. Until you have a fully, ratified written contract, you do not have a binding agreement. Talk until you agree, but until you have agreed in writing and the contract has been signed by all parties, the seller is under no obligation to sell and the buyer is under no obligation to buy.

In closing, always consult an attorney knowledgeable in real estate, if you have any questions about whether you have a binding contract.