We all know that an agreement to buy (or sell) real property has to be in writing, but what other types of agreements have to be in writing? The answer is, an agreement that will not be performed within one year or involving more than $1,000.
“Give me an example,” you say.
“Okay. Let’s say you enter into an agreement with me to sell me your cat for $50. That doesn’t have to be in writing.”
“I wouldn’t sell my cat for $50,” you say.
“That was just a hypothetical to demonstrate a point,” I say.
“Well, use your own cats to make your point,” you respond.
“All right,” I reply, “Let’s say that you offer to buy one of my cats for $50,000. That has to be in writing.”
“What gives you the idea that my cat is only worth $50 but one of your cats is worth $50,000?” you ask, somewhat insulted.
“My cats are very smart,” I reply.
“Are you saying that my cat is stupid?” you snap back.
“No, I’m just trying to….”
“And who would want to buy one of your mangy old cats?” you continue.
“Now, wait a minute, “ I respond, “This is about a legal principle.”
“Who cares?!” you say as you turn to walk away.
“Don’t you want to hear the rest of what I have to say about when a contract has to be in writing?” I ask.
“Tell it to your cats,” you say, as you pick up a peppermint candy on your way out of my office.
Allen Drescher has practiced law in Southern Oregon since 1973. His practice areas include real estate and business law. For an appointment please call 541-482-4935
© Allen Drescher