The Rental Market

E-Nailed: The accidental real estate deal

By Teri Karush Rogers | February 7, 2011 - 2:56PM

Real estate agents increasingly negotiate deals via email or text rather than telephone or in person.  If that includes your agent, listen up: A little-noticed New York appellate court decision last fall ruled that legally enforceable real estate contracts binding buyers and sellers can arise from email between their real estate agents.  What does that mean for you? According to Robert Braverman, the Manhattan real estate lawyer who alerted us to the case, it's a good reason to instruct your broker to pick up the phone, as oral contracts for real estate are not enforceable.  Alternatively, he says, emails should include "very clear caveats that the emails do not constitute formal offers or acceptances and cannot constitute a valid, binding agreement."  

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she covered New York City real estate for the The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri holds a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University. 

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