NC Real estate contracts: If it ain’t in writing, you ain’t got it!

I first heard that one a long time ago.  Breaking things down into writing reduces disagreement.

Sure, two parties in a real estate transaction can disagree over the meaning or intent of various words and phrases in a contract.  But the opportunity for disagreement is even greater when both parties must recall the content of verbalized promises and assurances.  

There are too many details in a North Carolina real estate contract, and too many variables, to allow for enforceable verbal contracts.  Ergo, the law says a contract must be in writing to be enforceable.

People of good will, good character, and good intent may differ in their recall of a negotiation.  Contention is best avoided in advance, by getting the resulting agreement into a written contract form.  We North Carolina Realtors have standard forms and contract addenda with blanks we can complete.  If the agreement transcends the bounds of the standard Offer to Purchase and Contract and associated standard forms and language must be drafted; an attorney will be needed to provide the language.  North Carolina Realtors, or other licensed real estate agents in NC, must not draft agreements.

Regardless, the trap of verbal, unwritten, agreements should be avoided by all parties.

“If it ain’t in writing, you ain’t got it.”  Get it in writing!

3 thoughts on “NC Real estate contracts: If it ain’t in writing, you ain’t got it!”

  1. I am buying a house and me and my sells person verbally agreed on adding a garage, they graded the land for it and even put flags down to make were it will go. We are almost at the end of the procces and he is now telling me the way he was going to pay for the garage changed and now it has to go though the morgage company. Well the morgage company said they would no approve this. I did extra work to insure to save money to insure i would have enough money on are base figure to cover my garage. Im I in rights to a oral contract?

  2. Paul,
    It all sounds like a frustrating mess when you are just trying to buy a home. But, you really need to talk to a real estate attorney about your situation and what rights you have.

  3. Me and my wife was wanting to buy a house from this couple if we didnt find anything else. The couple put there house on the market back in aug with a realtor. we sent them a text message and told them we would buy there house in jan. They wanted to wait untill there contract was up with there realtor so it would save them money . They sent me text messages saying they was turning down all overs they had. We never had anything in writing and no contracts. Can they sue us for not buying there house. This is NC

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