Home Buying in 90094>Question Details

Oceans98, Home Buyer in 94114

Seller has not released my deposit and we are out on a contingency. Who do I get the money back?

Asked by Oceans98, 94114 Wed Feb 8, 2012

We put $5000 down on a condo in Walnut Creek, CA, and the seller is stubbornly not signing the escrow release documents. He says he is entitled to the deposit, which we know is not true. How can we get our money back?

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Hi Your agent should go after seller and sellers agent, if the escrow is canceled by mutual aggrement, escrow should release the deposites, unless you have a clouse in your contract that may say if buyer canceles escrow the deposit will be forfited. Good Luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012

You have a $5,000- deposit in escrow. I is touch to judge if seller can keep deposit or if buyer's deposit should be refunded if do not have access to escrow instructions. What contingency have been removed or not removed? There are a multitude of reasons for escrow cancellation: professional property inspection, loan approval, final walk-thru. What is the reason buyer is cancelling escrow? Why is seller not signing off escrow instructions.Is there a contingency in instructions stating reasons seller can retain buyer's deposit? Seller's listing Broker and Buyer's Broker has access to escrow instructions and should be able to execute cancellation by both parties and buyer's deposit refunded.

Gail Mercedes Cole
EXP Realty Marina del Rey
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 23, 2013
Do not worry, you will get your money if you were not at fault. Just make contacts to seller directly and you will get a resolution, it may be just a miss communication or miss understanding by either party. I could be that escrow wants compensation for their services that was rendered during the period that escrow was active.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 17, 2012
You need to get the seller to sign the deposit release documents. If he refuses, then take him to court. If you correctly backed out, then the judge will order that your deposit be refunded. Case solved!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 14, 2012
Be sure file a Lis pendens against the house.

The seller who does this really needed to sell that house and is angry. So while he is being a jerk, you take away his ability to sell the house to anyone else. He is more apt to release your funds.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 9, 2012
I am not an attorney and can not give legal advice but I can share an experience. Since the deposit is only $5000 you can file a claim in small claims court. My clients did because they were entitled to the deposit and the seller was just being bitter. They received their money and the amount it cost to file.
Good Luck.
Web Reference: http://www.laura4homes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
If all else fails, contact an attorney or file a small claims court action?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
If according to your contract you're entitled to your deposit and listing agent, your agent, and seller are not cooperating to get your deposit back from escrow, you need to have a real estate attorney contact them.

Doug Perez
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
In general, laws tend to side with the buyer, who they regard as ['the little guy", so that is good for you. But contested escrows are a notoriously difficult and gray arena. In many cases, it is not clear cut nor is it worth arguing too much about. I'd say that $5000 approaches marginal but is still worth it. Often both parties end up with less than they hoped. You need advice from a professional who has access to the papers and all details.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
Unfortunately, sometimes the seller out of anger will delay his/her signature for release. This is highly frustrating. Escrow and agents usually work diligently to get this done. Did this just occur? How long has it been?
Carrie Rollings
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
Sounds frustrating! If you are being represented by an agent ask them to get involved and assist you with the return of your deposit! Just one of our many jobs!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
Good morning. The Escrow company that is holding the Deposit should release it within about a week after receiving both Buyer and Seller signatures on the Cancellation and possible an Escrow Amendment about the release of funds.

If you need a Buyer's Agent in the future it would be pleasure to assist. We have NEVER lost a buyer's deposit in 25 years in business. Thank you.

Best regards,
Samantha Allen

Samantha H. Allen, DRE #01499112
"Making Realty A Reality"
Short Sales certified
Real Estate Investment Analyst certified
Cell 213-500-2384
Fax 310-765-4980
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
Can you give a little more info. Have you cancelled escrow and which contingencies did you release?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 8, 2012
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