Real estate contracts in North Carolina are used to facilitate the transfer of real estate between buyer and seller. The contract is an outline of the transaction, basically a set of instructions that will guide all parties involved throughout the transaction. North Carolina does not have any statutory requirements specifically for the real estate contract. In North Carolina real estate contracts are typically bilateral contracts and should be in writing to be enforceable.
The Statute of Frauds requires contracts for the sale of land, or any interest in land, to be in writing. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 22-2 (“All contracts to sell or convey any lands, tenements or hereditaments, or any interest in or concerning them…shall be void unless said contract, or some memorandum or note thereof, be put in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some other person by him thereto lawfully authorized….”). Pursuant to the Statute of Frauds, oral agreements between a buyer and seller are unenforceable as a matter of law. Thus, even if a buyer makes a written offer, and a seller orally agrees to its terms, that seller’s oral agreement cannot be enforced unless it has been reduced to writing and signed by him or her, or by someone authorized to sign for him/her. It is therefore critical to have a written contract between the parties delineating the terms of their agreement.
Who can draft an agreement? The drafting of a sales contract for others is generally construed as an act for which a law license is required. See N.C. Gen. Stat. § 84-2.1.
Similarly, the Real Estate License Law prohibits the unauthorized practice of law by real estate brokers, and specifically, drafting legal instruments. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 93A-6(a)(12); 21 N.C. Admin. Code 58A .0111. However, real estate brokers may complete pre-printed form contracts, when an attorney has drafted the form. Likewise, a party to an agreement may draft it, or a provision thereof, without “practicing law.” Learn more about Real Estate Contracts in North Carolina by visiting http://www.therealestatecontract.com
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