If the buyer is truly in default, then the seller is generally entitled to the compensation. It is generally in the buyers best interest to offer the earnest money as a way to cut loose from the transaction and avoid being sued for triple damages, moving costs, and attorney fees.
Please post how it turns out. These kinds of contact concerns are very important in our industry.
Best of Luck,
As you can see, it is very easy for some of us to say YES you are entitled, NO you're not and it Depends.
As the respondents said, I am sure your agent explained the contract to you and answered your questions as it develops. This is part of your agent's job. Whether you believe him or not is a different story.
If your agent knows his stuff, I am sure he is working diligently so you can retain the earnest money. He asked you to take photos with dates to help you case. They can still go after it if they want to. If they decide to go to court with that earnest money, nothing can prevent them from doing that regardless if they are right or wrong. But is it really worth it? remember that you cannot put your home in the market if it goes to litigation/court no matter who is right or wrong. We have to pick our battles.. is it worth it or not?
I highly suggest you discuss this with your agent. He is there to answer your questions. As here in Trulia, we only know part of the story...
I hope your home is priced right so you can capture more buyers that are eager and ready...
Best of Luck,
BROKER, CRS, SRS, ABR, GRI, CNE, GREEN, REO/SS CERTIFIED
RSVP REALTY ONE, LLC
Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer
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However, even if you are 100% entitled to that earnest money, the title company needs both parties to sign a release of earnest money form. So they can simply refuse to sign it if they wanted to. It's dumb and needs to be changed, but that's how it works for now. Your Realtor or his broker really needs to know his stuff at this point to fight for your money.