Alpharetta, GA asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Georgia

Q: Can I back out of a partnership real estate deal where the partners don't own title to the house

I want to back of this deal now and give them their money back. Purchased a house to flip in my name, worked on the deal 1 year 1/2. 2 friends wanted to flip too. I told them I had a house I had been working for for 1 1/2. The 1 friend put in $16,000 to buy the house and quiet the title. The other friend has not money. We have no written contract as how the money will be divided. The title and ownership is all in my name. Al-thought the 1 friend put up money initially. They want all of us to share a 3rd among the 3 of us. I don't want to do the deal now! I want to back out. They say they can sue me. Can I pay the 1 friend back and back out of the verbal contract deal? Do I need an attorney to get me out of this verbal contract.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Glenn M. Lyon
Glenn M. Lyon
Answered
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: With a few exceptions that likely don't apply here, oral agreements are enforceable as long as you can adequately prove the elements of the contract. As such, just based on the fact that the agreement was not written would not give you the right to void the agreement. Otherwise, your rights and obligations depend on the totality of the circumstances. Discuss with a local business attorney, as you should have done initially.

Michael D. Birchmore agrees with this answer

Michael D. Birchmore
PREMIUM
Michael D. Birchmore
Answered
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Without disagreeing with my colleague, I would come at the question from a different angle. A very famous law (Statute of Frauds) states the for any contract for the sale of land to be enforceable, it must be in writing. Your specific facts may or may not be challenged or supported by either of these two responses to your question. As Mr. Lyon stated, you should have met with an attorney before you did the first thing. Whether or not you can or cannot do what you want to do will depend on those specific facts which are not available to us here. So .... meet with the attorney now before doing anything else.

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