Consumer Protection Law
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Based on the facts provided, it does not appear your agreement for the sale of real estate in South Carolina is binding as it is not in writing. See below.
Title 32 - Contracts and Agents
Statute of Frauds
SECTION 32-3-10. Agreements required to be in writing and signed.No action shall be brought whereby:(4) To charge any person upon any contract or sale of lands, tenements or hereditaments or any interest in or concerning them;Unless the agreement upon which such action shall be brought or some memorandum or note thereof shall be in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith or some person thereunto by him lawfully authorized.
As to the Statute of Frauds (i.e. lack of signed writing for a contract to purchase real estate), I would say that the time span would not matter. However, if a person continuously occupied the property for 10 years, then that person may be able to claim ownership by adverse possession. This is true even if not valid title owner. As long as he or she openly occupies the property for 10 years with this invalid title, then he or she will have adversely possessed the property. This is called adverse possession under “color of title.”
I would recommend consulting a local attorney to protect your interests.