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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55717
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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I moved into a property owned by a friend a yr. ago and rented

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I moved into a property owned by a friend a yr. ago and rented it for 6mos and closed on it 6 mos. ago. Now, The seller is attempting to bully me into giving them half of the equity in the house if/ when I sell it. The purchase contract was signed by both parties, with no stipulations or addendums. The seller said they sold the property to me for less than value at the time of the sale and could've sold it to anyone for significantly higher price. The seller determined the selling price of the property. Does the seller have any legal grounds to enforce this without any written agreement and without being prepared as part of the contract? I feel helpless and the seller is threatening to sue me for half of the equity. And advice, or are there laws to protect me as the buyer? Thanks.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good evening. The seller must be on drugs! The seller has absolutely no legal grounds to claim any gain you may make on the sale of the home. Just as the seller would not be obligated to pay you if you suffered a loss, you have no legal obligation to give him any portion of the upside. You own the house and you have the risk of loss and the benefit of any gain. Although you can never prevent someone from filing a suit, he has no chance of prevailing and should he be stupid enough to file the suit, you should file a counter suit for him filing a frivolous suit against you. Any agreement relating to real estate are, under the statute of frauds, required to be in writing. If there is no signed agreement where you agree to share any gain, he has no chance of prevailing.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The seller insists we had a 'verbal' agreement, and also that he has a 'witness' to this verbal agreement and that he will enforce it. There is no signed agreement and he tried to get me to sign something ow, 6 mos after the closing and filing. I'm a veteran and he is a smart investor and feel he is threatening me to force me to fold so I don't incur thousands of dollars of legal fees. I have not signed and will not sign such a ridiculous agreement, but its true I will go broke trying to fight him. Any suggestions on how to proceed? Thank you so much!
Thanks for following up. A verbal agreement regarding real estate is not going to be enforceable. He's trying to intimidate you...don't let him. Under the Arizona Statute of Frauds statute (codified in Arizona at A.R.S. Section 44-101), contracts regarding the sale of real property are required to be in writing and signed by the party to be charged (that being you). With no written agreement signed by you, he has absolutely no legitimate cause of action....witness or not. Tell him to sue you if he wants, but to otherwise leave you alone.
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