General principles of Arizona contract law only require the existence of an offer, acceptance, consideration, and sufficient specificity of the conditions so as to have an enforceable contract. This is true whether the parties write out the terms or sign a written record.
This is not the situation once the contract concerns the sale of the property. There, the Statute of Frauds as codified in Arizona (ARS 44-101(6)) demands that contracts for the sale of real property be written and signed in order to be enforceable.
It’s important to note, however, the Arizona courts have consistently held that only the touch of this “party to be charged” is required. To put it differently, the contract has to be signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought however, doesn’t necessarily have to be signed by the charging party. By way of example, a seller of real estate who never signed the sales contract could successfully maintain an action against a buyer who did sign the contract.
The parties to a Arizona real estate contract must also remember that any alterations to the contract must also be composed and signed to be enforceable. Due to the needs of the Statute of Frauds, parties buying or selling property in Arizona are advised to require written confirmation of all the terms and conditions of the actual estate transaction. Frequently, agents and agents can make representations and assurances to sellers and buyers and suggest that a written modification is unnecessary. Buyers and sellers must avoid the urge to rely upon such assurances and ensure that all important things are reduced to writing and signed by another party.
Alas, many Justin Billingsley Arizona Arizona real estate contracts aren’t signed or written and a couple of parties find themselves with a necessity to seek relief from another party. If you find yourself facing such a situation you should talk to an experienced Arizona real estate attorney as soon as possible to ascertain whether an exception to the Statute of Frauds may employ, or if any other legal recourse is available.
Kevin R. Harper is an Arizona real estate and business litigation lawyer, representing individuals and tiny companies across the state of Arizona from his centrally-located office in 1 N. Central Ave., Suite 1130, in downtown Phoenix.