Home Buying in 11793>Question Details

Michael, Home Buyer in Wantagh, NY

Quick question - long story shirt - I am backing out of a contract and getting my escrow money back. I paid my lawyer $300 of his $1000 fee as a

Asked by Michael, Wantagh, NY Wed Jan 8, 2014

"down payment" in the beginning.
Will I still owe him the remaining $700 even though we never made it to closing??

Help the community by answering this question:


It depends upon the agreement that you made with him. He probably had you sign a retainer agreement. You need to check to see what it says.

Tom Moser
Keystone Realty USA

Long Island's Commission Rebate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 9, 2014
None of us can accurately speak for your attorney, therefore you really should be asking him the question....
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
That depends what agreement you had with your attorney and should have been discussed beforehand although nobody plans on backing out of a contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 21, 2014
Hello Michael.

One question, but not much back story. Depends on what you are going to do next.

If you will keep looking for another house, I would not ask for your money back, but let him/her know that you would like the $300 (also called retainer) to be used for the next house you would like to purchase.

On the other hand, if you no longer interested in buying any property, than you should ask for your money back, unless you signed something with your attorney that will prevent you from doing that. Never hurts to try, will always regret not proceeding with it.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

If my response was helpful, consider clicking BEST ANSWER!

Thank you for your valuable time!

Oleg Volfman, CBR, RSSP
Lic. RE Agent, Office Manager
Quick Deal Realty, Inc
Office 516-599-5559
Mobile 917-685-0489
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2014
If you like, I can refer you the lawyer I worked with before. Just let me know.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2014
Actually, you don't have to pay anything because it doesn't go through. Like me, my lawyer doesn't charge me at all, we get the deposit back from the escrow, that's it. Simple, no broker's, loan officer, or lawyer's fees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 19, 2014
You have to ask your lawyer.
Tom Brady SFR, e-PRO, SRES, BPOR
Licensed Associate Broker
Notary Public, Retired N.Y.P.D. Lt.
#1 Listing & Selling Office on Long Island
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Drive - Suite 208
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 11, 2014
The answer you are looking for should come from your attorney. Maybe you and he/she can work it out . You mention getting out of a contract but don't mention how far into the deal you are or if you found something else. Work it out with the attorney based upon the work done or to be done.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 10, 2014

That's between you and your attorney. Or perhaps you should ask another attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
That will depend on the terms of the lawyers engagement. It sounds however like the bulk of the attorney's work may have been completed and the fee earned. We prorate our fee based on how much time was spent on the file. The basis for the return of the down payment may have taken more negotiating time than a closing would have. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
Hey Michael,
Thanks for asking the question..It depends on the agreement you had with your attorney...he may
say that the $300 is enough or he can also say that you may have to pay him the full amount
or maybe something additional to the original $300..Who is the attorney?? I may know them and
be able to tell you more certain of what they will do...If you have any other questions, feel free to
email or call on my cell...Thanks Laura 516-984-0343
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
Depends on your lawyer and what he feels is fair for his time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
That's a question for your attorney. It depends on what you guys agreed on at the beginning.

If my response was helpful, consider clicking BEST ANSWER!

Javier Meneses
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #23130
310 Crossways Park Drive
Woodbury, NY 11797
(516) 606-9648 Cell
(516) 740-4478 Office
(516) 918-5383 Fax
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
I believe you should be asking the lawyer this question. This $1000 fee, was it a set amount for closing, or an estimate of costs and would differ based on his amount of hours worked?? We can't give legal advice, however if I were in this situation, I'd ask my lawyer to refund any moneys he hadn't done the work for yet, or ask him to use the $300 as a credit toward the home I eventually purchase and have him close. Talk to him, see what you can work out.
Communication is KEY.

Best of luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 8, 2014
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