For most people, Real Estate transactions are usually a life changing event. Because of the importance of these transactions, most states have what are called “statutes of fraud” (SOF). A SOF is a rule that states that certain transactions—like the purchase and sale of land—will not be enforceable if they are not in writing and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought. (In Florida, See F.S. 725.01).
This takes us to our question. Imagine you agree in emails and text messages with a seller to purchase their home. Seller then goes on and accepts a different offer and wants to sell to a different buyer. Are the text and email agreements enforceable?
The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals recently addressed this situation in Walsh v. Abate 47 Fla. L. Weekly D702 (Fla 4th DCA 2022). In that case, the seller’s realtor sends an email to the buyer telling him “please let the buyer know that the seller thanks him for his patience and accepts $3.4 million [for the property].” Later, the seller went on to accept a different offer and backed off the initial 3.4 Million deal. There was no Purchase – Sale real estate contract signed by the parties.
The Fourth District held that in the sale of a property, the SOF requires a contract signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought, with the writing containing all the essential terms of the sale. Based on this, the Fourth District upheld the dismissal of the case by the trial court.
Real estate transactions, closings, purchase and sale of real estate, or refinance transactions can be stressful events. Make sure you hire a competent real estate lawyer to assist you in the process. It is also important to consult immediately with a real estate lawyer as soon as there are problems, and there’s the threat of a lawsuit.
Contact a Miami Real Estate lawyer at Ayala for more questions. You can reach us at 305-570-2208 or you can schedule a case evaluation on line at: https://www.lawayala.com/
You can also email real estate attorney Eduardo A. Maura at email@example.com