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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 3139
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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Is a verbal agreement to purchase a home legal in wv and

Customer Question

Is a verbal agreement to purchase a home legal in wv and binding without anything in writing and no earnest deposit
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 10 months ago.

Hello Terry,

No. Certain agreements must be in writing to be enforceable. Traditionally, a contract for the the sale of real estate must be in writing. This is an area of law known as the "statute of frauds." In West Virginia, the statutory provision which requires that contracts for the sale of a home must be in writing is set forth in West Virginia Code Section 36-1-3, which provides as follows:

§36-1-3. Contracts for sale or lease of land; necessity of writing.
No contract for the sale of land, or the lease thereof for more than one year, shall be enforceable unless the contract or some note or memorandum thereof be in writing and signed by the party to be charged thereby, or by his agent. But the consideration need not be set forth or expressed in the writing, and it may be proved by other evidence.

So, as you can see from this statute a verbal agreement to purchase a home would not be enforceable if there is no written contract or some memorandum thereof.

I hope this answers your question.


Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** a potential purchase of my home about one month ago and the person verbalized that the purchase would be made in cash ad I dropped the price a great deal to sell quickly as it turned out had daughter go to bank to borrow extra to remodel the home and declined to sign intent to purchase or pay earnest deposit ! Meanwhile another buyer with cash agrees to proceed pay deposit etc! Needless to say the first person is very upset but Igave him48 Hours tocomplete the purchase without any response from him! I feel bad but need to sell this place as I now live in Texas! Thank you kindly, Terry
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 10 months ago.

You are welcome. The first purchaser will not be able to enforce any agreement to purchase since there was no writing.

Good luck.


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