Thursday, December 07, 2006

Earnest money return

Another interesting real-life scenario, this one actually involving our office.

A number of months back we represented a purchaser of real estate. They'd deposited $1,000 earnest money with Seller's real estate agent. During attorney modification, Seller rejects some of our modification requests, so contract is dead (everything's a counteroffer, right?). For the sake of argument, there's dispute over who cancelled the contract.

Putting that aside, the unit sold if I recall for more than the asking price to another Buyer within a couple weeks of our contract being broken. Seller's agent still hasn't returned our client's earnest money. What's a possible basis for agent to continue to hold the earnest money? Assume the worst from buyer's standpoint, buyer breached. Earnest money is not a remedy for buyer's breach, right?

I know my various lawsuit options but really don't find it cost-effective to sue. Any other good way to hit this Realtor where it hurts? Local board of realtors? State licensing agency? Go after the brokerage themselves?


At 3:22 PM, Anonymous Chicago Real Estate said...

Wait a minute, seller rejects during review period and doesn't want to return money? What is the sellers attorneys responce to the earnest money refund request?

I don't think the agent/broker is liable unless they won't sign off on it even though the seller himself did, which makes no sence.

Brian Nygard


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