Verbal offers to purchase real estate are totally worthless. If you are buying, selling, or negotiating for real estate be sure everything is in writing, seems like a no brainer doesn't it? You would be amazed (or maybe appalled) at how many people (including some real estate "professionals")think verbal is good enough WRONG!!! No matter what is said, the only thing that counts is what's written down signed and dated.
If you get involved in a real estate transaction where anyone insists in doing things verbally, RUN!!! and I mean run fast. Who will determine who said what - A JUDGE!.
A real estate "professional" who insists on doing business verbally shouldn't be a licensed real estate agents. Iowa has a little thing called the Statute of Frauds, it is a rule that dates back to 1677 in England, it has always been in effect in Iowa real estate dealings. The Statute of Frauds is a fundamental rule of contract law - it states that all contracts for the sale of real estate must be in writing to be enforceable.
What is the advantage of doing things verbally? If you are honest, I can't thing of one single reason to do business verbally, not to mention it's illegal, but then I may be the wrong person to answer that since I am a Real Estate Professional!