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Written contracts, and oral promises and assurances. Do oral promises and assurances become part of the written contract?

State College, PA |

I hired an auctioneer to auction some property of mine. As per the contract the auctioneer was responsible for marketing, advertising, and getting bidders interested in the property to be auctioned off on a certain date. I paid the auctioneer thousands of dollars for this marketing, advertising, etc. of the auction, and the property to be aucitoned.

When I first consulted with this auctioneer, he guaranteed he would sell my property at auction verbally. His marketing and advertising materials, and his website states that sales, and successful auctions are guaranteed. When this auctioneer showed up on auction day, he told me verbally that he had several phone calls from bidders who were interested in the auction. He also stated

that he has not had an unsuccessful auction with no sales in nearly 10 years, and that I would be satisfied with the auction results. On this auction day no bidders showed up to participate in the auction. No auction had occurred despite all of the marketing, advertising,(Which I paid him for.) I never heard back from the auctioneer after this. Four weeks later after this I was served with a lawsuit from this auctioneer against me for $10,000 for auction services even though no actual auction had occured despite the auctioneer's oral promises, and assurances. The written contract states that the auctioneer does not warrant a specific result or sale, but he made several oral promises/assurances, and also his written advertising and marketing materials, and his website guarantee a sale, and successful auction. Would these things become a part of the contract and/void the written contract?

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Attorney answers 2


Sorry to hear about your situation. One would want to review the agreement, seeing whether it states that it is the entire agreement. Generally speaking, the written agreement will control. Best to consult with an attorney to review the contract and discuss with you the facts in more detail. Avvo has a great "Find a Lawyer" feature to find an attorney. Best of luck.

Answer given for general advice and is not a legal opinion, which would require an analysis of the facts and circumstances as well as the applicable law and regulations.



Thank you Pearlette for answering my question. I appreciate it. However, what about the Parol Evidence Rule, Fraud, and Misrepresentation?

Pearlette Vivian Toussant

Pearlette Vivian Toussant


Those will depend on all the facts, etc. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to give specific advice to a detailed situation on the Internet.


I agree with my colleague on this matter.

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