Verbal contracts are not held up in a Real Estate transaction. Everything must be in writing. All terms of everything must be discussed. I love it when an out of town buyer tells me to just call up the listing agent and ask if such and such price is ok. I'm like, we need more than just a price. I need to know the amount of earnest money you'll be putting up, how much time you want to inspections, do you want a home warranty, when will we close, will possession be given at closing and funding or will there be a lease back... as I list off all these questions and more, people's eyes just start to bug out.
I understand in some areas, people can write a letter of intent and then fill out the full contract later, but this is not how real estate works in the Dallas market. Letters of Intent don't ususally list out everything within an offer and then when a full contract is written, one side is always yelling and screaming about how something was not agreed to.
The only real estate that does not have to be in writing is a rental agreement that is less than 12 months! Put everything in writing even if it seems silly!