Are Verbal Contracts Legally Binding?

A verbal contract is created when two (or more) parties agree to do something in trade for something else that holds value.

A contract can be:

  • Formally written;
  • Casually written; or
  • Verbal.

If one or more parties do not act as agreed upon, it becomes a breach and remediation must take place to resolve the differences.

Verbal vs. Written Contracts

All types of verbal contracts are as legally binding as written contracts. However, an oral contract is more difficult to litigate than a written contract, especially if there are no, or few, witnesses to this agreement.

For this reason, some contracts are only enforceable if they are written. These include contracts:

  • to begin a real property exchange;
  • for the lease of property for 1 year or more;
  • that take longer than 1 year to complete; or
  • for the sale of items that are $500 or more.

When Are Verbal Contracts Valid?

To make any contract valid, certain elements need to be present in the process.

Usually, these elements are:

  • an offer and acceptance: an offer is made by one person and accepted by the other.
  • lawful purpose: the contract must be made with lawful intentions (no illegal terms or exchange of items).
  • lawful consideration: there must be a lawful exchange of money or goods between the parties.
  • certainty of terms: the terms of the contract must be clear, complete, or not easily mistaken.
  • consent of parties: the parties must not be mentally compromised and must be able to consent to the terms of the agreement without undue influences. In some cases, mental competency and capacity are considered separate elements. This requires all parties to be of sound mind, and able to understand the terms of the contract.

Constructing Sound Property Contracts

If someone is trying to coerce you into entering a verbal contract that has to do with property, our property law attorneys can help. Our attorneys will help you construct a solid written property contract that is legally binding.

Call our firm today at (918) 992-3300 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.

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