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Paulina_70006

Negotiating sale via e-mail

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I have been negotiating transfer of my 30% ownership of a property to my partner who initiated this and who owns the other 60% (in Louisiana). The property has been under construction and I am the general contractor.  We have been negotiating the price via e-mail for over 3 months. In December, we agreed on the price for the building in its current condition. However, my partner kept bringing in different conditions. I began working on the building and now I realize that I would be better off to complete the construction and then decide what to do. Am I legally bound to sell my share if my partner goes to a lawyer? Can I just let my partner know that I do not want to sell my share to him at the moment?

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It would help to know what was specifically said in each email but, generally, when one party makes an offer and the other party says he accepts the offer but with conditions then he hasn't accepted the offer.

 

Example:

 

You offer to sell your share for $10,000. You're partner writes back and says OK on the $10,000 but I want you to _________. That means he has declined your offer as stated and you are free to withdraw it.

 

I suggest you put your partner on written notice confirming that he has not accepted the offer as stated and you withdraw it and will consider making another offer at a future time.

 

Whether or not he has a lawyer doesn't make any difference in contract law basics.

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The statute of frauds generally requires contracts for the sale of an interest in real property to be in writing.  I assume, but do not know for sure, that Louisiana has a statute of frauds.  If it doesn't, we obviously can't know if you if the e-mails you have exchanged constitute a binding contract because we haven't read them.

 

Obviously, you can tell your partner anything you like, and whether does or doesn't go to a lawyer isn't at all relevant.

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Hi Paulina,

 

Like the others said, going to a lawyer doesn't make the agreement binding. You, however, may want to consult a lawyer to review the emails and make sure your interests are protected. Feel free to try out FindLaw's lawyer directory to help you find qualified attorneys in your area. Good luck!

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