What does it take to make a contract?

A contract is an agreement between two persons to either do something or not to do something in exchange for some form of consideration. An agreement may come in several different forms. The agreement may be implied as a result of the conduct of the parties. On the other hand, the agreement may be expressed, meaning that the parties have expressly stated what their intentions are and what they wish to obtain as a result of the agreement. An expressed contract may be in writing or it may be oral. Either type of contract is equally enforceable in most instances, although a written contract is always preferable because it clearly sets forth the terms of the agreement. An oral contract is always subject to dispute, because the parties may have different recollections of exactly what they agreed to.

The way that an agreement comes about is generally through an offer being made by one party and then that offer being accepted by the other party. The offer may come in two different forms-written or oral form. The more precise the terms of the offer, the better off the parties will be in establishing the certainty of their agreement. A counteroffer is, by its very terms, a rejection of the original offer. The dealership would be free to reject your counteroffer. There are several different ways that an offer may be framed. The person making the offer may state certain terms and condi­tions that have to be met in order for the offer to be accepted. If those terms and conditions are not met, then there cannot be a valid acceptance of the offer.

Consideration is a very elusive but important concept. An easy way to think of it is as the tit for tat, the quid pro quo, or, to put it another way, it is simply the meat of the agreement. If there is no consideration, then there is no contract.

Typically the performance of a preexisting legal duty can­not serve us consideration for a contract. For instance, If you are already under a duty to perform a certain act and you then promise to do it as the consideration for a contract, that consid­eration is insufficient. Forbearance to do a certain act may serve as consideration.

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