Get it in Writing

Dated: January 8 2021

Views: 52

Verbal offers, verbal counteroffers, verbal acceptances, verbal agreements are not worth the paper they are written on! You’ve probably heard some version of this statement before. It encompasses a very basic rule, which is sometimes forgotten. And, forgetting this rule can result in a very expensive education. Failure to get agreements in writing can result in lost properties, lost sales, lost commissions, lawsuits, and complaints to the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

The statute of frauds requires that all real estate contracts be in writing. When working with offers and counter-offers, a contract can be lost when verbal agreements are made regarding the details of a proposed contract and another offer comes in (in writing) that is more desirable to the seller or the buyer finds another property.  Conversations, where offers and counteroffers are discussed, are just that – conversations. Until all sellers and all buyers actually sign and initial the offer (counter), either party can change their mind.

To avoid confusion and possible liability, remember… verbal offers, verbal counteroffers, verbal acceptances, verbal agreements are not worth the paper they are written on! It is prudent to explain this to your clients (and heed the advice yourself). When the buyers, sellers, agents, and brokers you are working with agree in writing to all terms, you will face fewer problems. And, is some cases, such as the purchase agreement, the written agreement is mandatory.  


Cindy Henninger

Director of Professional Services

Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS®

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Michelle Meenach

Cincinnati’s Top 3% | Sr Sales Vice President | selling Fast for Top Dollar | from Neighborhood to Luxury, I'll help you find the Home you Love As your Realtor, I bring a breadth of experience and ....

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