Cortney has lived in an apartment for ten years when she decides to buy a house

| September 10, 2018

Cortney has lived in an apartment for ten years when she decides to buy a house. Her one-year lease will end on May 1. On April 15, she orally con­tracts to buy Smith’s house for $100,000, with the closing (transfer of the deed) to take place on June1. Smith’s lawyer, who is out of town on vaca­tion, is to draft a written contract of sale on his return to his office on May 15. Because Cortney’s lease is terminating, Smith agrees to let her take possession of the house on May 1 if Cortney gives him a “down payment” on the house of $5,000. Cortney agrees and gives Smith the $5,000. She moves into the house on May 2, and the following weekend plants trees in the back yard. On May 10, Smith receives a written offer from Green to buy Smith’s house for $120,000. Smith accepts Green’s offer, asks Cortney to move out of the house, and tries to return the $5,000 to Cortney. Cortney claims that she has an enforceable contract to buy the house. Smith claims that any such contract must be in writing to be en­forceable under the Statute of Frauds. Who is correct and why?

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