Home Buying in New York>Question Details

itsfreeforaj, Home Buyer in 12309

Really simple question, What happens to earnest money when a seller fires his agent is also a listing agent for a new build for the seller?

Asked by itsfreeforaj, 12309 Wed Oct 3, 2012

Seller wants to buy a new built home, so the listing agents acts as a dual agent now and lists the sellers current home for sale so they can purchase the new built home from their company. Earnest money is collected from a buyer. In the midst of the contract while the buyer awaits mortgage approval, seller has a fight with their realtor and decides not to by the new built home, fires the agent, takes their house off the market, and refuses any communications with the agent. Buyer makes multiple requests to get earnest $$ back and seller wont sign the release. 3 years have passed and house has been sold to a new buyer via a new realty company. How can the buyer get the earnest money back? Seller have moved and where abouts unknown, seller was 90 years old at the time, lived alone. How was the seller able to sell the house w/o releasing the earnest money? Isn't there something to prevent the sale in this case?

Help the community by answering this question:


3 years. Yikes!
Be aware, I am not an attorney and the following is not legal advise. What follows is a path to assess the situation and the cooperative nature of those with whom you must work. If you are not the effected party, no one is obligated to reveal anything to you regarding these specific funds.
Check your three year old paperwork and identify who is holding the earnest money. This is most likely an attorney or title company, if title companies are used in NY. Inquire regarding the process to obtain a release of these funds. They will most likely say the broker must authorize the release or 3 years is too long to wait. Don't sign anything, you are just gathering information.
Next, contact the broker for whom the agent worked. Inquire regarding the process for obtaining the release of these funds. Balance what the attorney/title company say with what the broker states. The prime focus of your attention is to get the broker to take action. This is the most direct path to success. Don't sign anything, you are just gathering information.
Now, evaluate the dollar amount involved. IF you can not achieve satisfaction with the above approaches, both the title company/attorney and Broker created obstacles, or they advised you must have an attorney file the appropriate documents, you will need to consult an attorney. They, unlike real estate professional. seldom work for FREE. Even if you FIRE them, they WILL get paid. Only you can evaluate if the attorney and associated fees consume the amount of the earnest deposit.
OR, as others have stated, go straight to an attorney and follow his/her instruction.

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
Good morning,

This is definitely a matter for an Attorney to handle. You posted about this here in New York, so if this transaction took place in New York (downstate) then an Attorney must have been involved to hold the escrow money. In any event, I recommend you retain the services of a good real estate Attorney to resolve this matter.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
At this time you may wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 4, 2012
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