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I am very sorry but I am pretty sure you are not going to like my answer.
Once your brother purchased the property and placed it into his name it is his to do with what he wants.
His oral promises to you are unenforceable because all real estate contracts must be in writing under state law. So you have nothing that you can bind him to. His offer of the 12,500 as a gift is just that. He is not legally obligated to pay you. What he is trying to do is avoid potential claims so that he can sell the house (or keep it) without concern. That is because in the US law suits can be brought on the slimmest arguments. Even if the suit will not succeed it can put a cloud on a property until it is resolved.
I can't tell you what to do, only you can, but it is very unlikely that you have a valid suit against your brother - assuming that he purchased the property outright and it is in his name.
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