Question: A seller agreed to give a buyer the first right
A seller agreed to give a buyer the first right to purchase the remainder of her property if she chose to sell it. When the seller became deceased, the buyer filed suit against the estate, seeking the option to purchase. The two parties entered into a settlement agreement that was disapproved by the probate court. After the probate court's disapproval, the parties continued to attempt to negotiate a sale. They then entered into a second settlement agreement that was never signed. The buyer took possession of the keys and property. The buyer then attempted to renegotiate a lower price. The estate filed suit to compel specific performance, and the district court granted the estate's request. The buyer challenged the order of the district court, which enforced an oral settlement agreement requiring that the buyer purchase the real estate, on the grounds that the statute of frauds precluded the enforcement of agreements that were not in writing or signed by both parties. On appeal the court applied the doc- trine of partial performance to its decision, stating that the doctrine of partial performance took the agreement outside the statute of frauds because the estate tendered possession of the property and the buyer took and retained possession, used the property, and never denied that the parties had reached an agreement. The court affirmed the district court's ruling. Do you agree with the argument of the appellate buyer or the argument of the state supreme court? Why?
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