Home Buying in Augusta>Question Details

laney.amandam, Home Buyer in Sidney, ME

My Seller refuses to sign the release to the earnest money.

Asked by laney.amandam, Sidney, ME Mon Jul 9, 2012

My fiance and I were under contract with a seller on a house in Sidney. We missed the closing date because the appraisal took two business weeks and wasn't done until late afternoon of the original closing date. The seller refused to sign an extension of the original purchase and sale agreement. Now, he refuses to sign the release to get our 2500 dollar earnest money back. Does anyone have any advice? Do I need to hire a real estate lawyer?

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Hi Laney -

In the Purchase & Sale agreement under Item #17 is the paragraph that addresses what your recourse is in the event of an earnest money dispute. In this paragraph, both you and the seller have agreed to mediation to resolve the dispute over the earnest money, in accordance with the Maine Residential Real Estate Mediation Rules.

http://mainerealtors.com/DocumentsYouAskFor/MRREMPRules2010.pdf

The link above will provide you with the information you need to initiate mediation. It is important to note that the brokerage holding the earnest money is obligated to retain the earnest money in its trust account until the dispute is resolved. That is to say, they can not (or should not) release it to either party in a dispute until the dispute is resolved. Unfortunately, the seller can indeed dispute the release of the earnest money, even though they may have no legal right to the money. Who has the legal right to the money is decided by the mediation process.

I'm sorry you have to go through this process. If your buyer agent is unable to resolve this issue with the seller's agent, you will have to initiate mediation to get your earnest money back.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2012
aside from your Realtor, a lawyer may be of service, likely a stern letter may provoke the seller. I would stay clear of that appraiser in the future... that's crazy... send the appraiser your lawyer bill!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2012
I have a buyer agent with Coldwell Banker. I am told the attorney for CB will look into the dispute, but that ultimately, the seller can still dispute that decision?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2012
It sure sounds like you never had a Realtor to protect your interests.

Now, you can hire a lawyer to retrieve your lost interests.

We have a lot of questioners asking why they should get a Buyer Agent:

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 9, 2012
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