Real Estate Law
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Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you tonight.
Yes all real estate purchase and sale agreements are required to be in writing ans signed by both parties.There also must be some consideration, typically this is earnest money deposited with title company or seller to ensure that the buyer complies with contract.This is normally an amount between $500 -$2k.It can be higher obviously for a million dollar property.
Almost all states have sales contracts promulgated by the real estate board of each state.The parties or their realtor complete it and parties must sign and deposit earnest money.From that forward it would be a valid contract enforceable through the courts.
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Every state has a statute of frauds that requires such contracts for sale of real estate to be in writing and signed by the parties.