When it comes to the sale of real estate, most people think of a written contract. However, it is possible to sell real estate through an oral agreement, also known as a verbal agreement or handshake deal. While this type of agreement can work in some situations, it is important to understand the risks and limitations.

An oral agreement for the sale of real estate is a non-written transaction in which the seller and buyer agree on the terms and conditions of the sale orally, without any written documentation. This type of agreement can be made through a conversation, phone call, or even a handshake.

In some states, an oral agreement for the sale of real estate is legally binding, but in most cases, it is not enforceable. This is because real estate transactions are complex and involve significant amounts of money, making it challenging to prove the terms of the agreement in court. In many jurisdictions, a written contract is required for the sale of real estate to be legally binding.

One of the biggest risks of an oral agreement for the sale of real estate is that it leaves both the buyer and seller vulnerable to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the terms of the agreement. Without a written contract, there is no clear record of what was agreed upon, making it challenging to enforce or even prove the agreement`s existence.

Another potential issue is that, without a written contract, the parties may not fully understand their obligations and responsibilities. For example, the buyer may assume that a certain repair will be made by the seller, but the seller may have no knowledge of this.

Despite these risks, some situations may call for an oral agreement for the sale of real estate. For instance, if the property is being sold between family members or friends, an oral agreement may suffice. However, even in these situations, it is recommended that the parties consult with an attorney and draft a written agreement outlining the terms of the sale.

In conclusion, while an oral agreement for the sale of real estate may seem like an easy way to transact, it is not recommended due to the risks and limitations involved. In most cases, a written contract is necessary to ensure that the terms of the sale are clear and legally binding. When in doubt, seek the advice of a real estate attorney to ensure that your transaction is legitimate and legally enforceable.