Can oral promises constitute a contract? | Freilich Law | Michael Freilich | freilichlaw.com | (410) 321-0040
In respect to personal property as opposed to real estate, yes. With respect to real estate there’s several superseding laws that have to be applied. If they meet the test of those laws then they can be a binding contract. One of those laws is that if it’s an oral contract, the closing date must be within one year, at least in Maryland. Also, it has to satisfy certain other requirements. It has to be specific. Under Maryland law, which is one of the few states of the United States that allow this, a promise to make a promise can be enforced if enough of the promise is articulated. That’s why in correspondence back and forth on emails and text messaging and the right, when we’re talking about a deal or a real estate contract, I always add a clause to the effect, this is not an offer which can be accepted, it is only an invitation to negotiate. Again, it is not an offer which can be accepted but only an invitation to negotiate. That way it avoids the issue of whether or not there was a contract formed.
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