Hope that helps. We are a lender and assist with this all the time. We rarely have any issues with getting the deposit back....
If you have additional questions, I can be reached at 727-410-9663.
Best of luck,
Titan Home Lending
The buyer's option is to take the matter to court. But short of that--and a favorable ruling for the buyer--the money can be tied up forever. On the other hand, the money remains in escrow, so the seller doesn't get to pocket it, either.
If the seller is really angry--and it sounds as if he/she may be--you'll have a very, very difficult time getting your money back.
However, the State of Florida provides inordinate protection to the BUYER, making it difficult for a seller to receive those funds even if they suffer material loss through the actions of the buyer.
In the state of FLORIDA, when using the FAR/BAR contract, the buyer can withdraw from the purchase for reasons of their 'sole desecration' as provided in the inspection period. You miss the inspection time window then ending the contract is simply slightly more difficult.
Of course you know your REALTOR is the one to turn this question towards and HE/SHE can identify the coming exit points for you.
For a buyer to lose their deposit requires something that is truly egregious.
And of course...
Disclaimer: This is not legal advise and nothing in my statement should be deemed as legal advise. Only a FL BAR licensed attorney can give legal advise in the state of FL, should you need legal advise, please contact a FL BAR attorney.