However, if the seller raises the statute of frauds as a defense against your claim, you are not necessarily out of options. Promissory estoppel is an option I will not discuss here. Another option is partial performance. An oral agreement can be enforceable despite the statute of frauds if the agreement has been partially performed. To enforce the agreement, you would have to show that the performance unequivocally refers to the agreement and corroborates its existence, and that the performance could have no other purpose than to fulfill the agreement. That is where your receipts come in.
Under Texas law, a partially performed oral contract for the sale or lease of real estate is enforceable. Stovall & Assocs. v. Hibbs Fin. Ctr., Ltd., 409 S.W.3d 790, 801 (Tex.App.—Dallas 2013, no pet.). To establish partial performance, you would have to show that you (1) paid consideration, whether in money or services, (2) took possession of the land, and (3) made permanent and valuable improvements to the land with the defendant seller’s or lessor’s consent or, if no improvements were made, that other factors would make the transaction fraudulent if not enforced. Boyert v. Tauber, 834 S.W.2d 60, 63 (Tex.1992).