Home Buying in 92626>Question Details

Buyer, Home Buyer in 92627

Seller opted out of escrow within the first week. Is it now up to the buyer to pay for the fee's accrued through escrow this first week?

Asked by Buyer, 92627 Wed Mar 24, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Buy,

There are two "Contracts" here; the Contract between you and the Seller, and the Contract within the Escrow:

What I want to address is the Escrow; The Title Company will not do ANYTHING unilaterally; meaning they will not cancel the Escrow based on the Seller's request, you have to agree. They will keep the Escrow open if you do not say so.
So, if the Seller tries to sell the house to someone else, there will be an Open Escrow pending.

In the other extreme; the Title Company will bill you for your expenses. They will bill the Seller for theirs.

Befriend the Officer at the Title Company and ask them to call you if something happens. (do not try to give them a gift or anything; not kosher!)

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 19, 2011
The seller can not opt out of the contract in escrow UNLESS you do not perform! Meaning....if you do not remove contingencies within the alloted timeframe, then the seller can give you a notice to perform. If you do not they have the option to cancel escrow and retain your earnest money deposit. Also, if the property does not appraise at purchase value, and the buyer does not want (or can not due to lender issues) to pay the higher price, the seller can cancel the escrow.

Those are the only circumstances allowing the seller to cancel.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 19, 2011

The only one who can opt out is you. You have a 17 (unless altered) day free look at the house while you do your inspections to see if that property is suitable. The seller has no opt out clauses unless you don't perform on something (it is too soon for that to be the case). Seller will provide you with a notice of cancellation. On that notice there is a box where it is checked that all money should be returned to buyer.

The question should be do wish to release the seller from the contract? If yes just sign the Cancellation Notice and have the funds returned to you. Your agent will walk you through. I hope it is not same agent who has the home for sale.

Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
To Louwu, re: your remark: "New california laws say that the buyer is able to choose his/her own services"

Not to disagree with you, Lou, but in every price range under about $700k, in South O.C. we are in a DEEP seller's market, where the listing agents call virtually ALL the shots. There are no buyer's agents in their right mind, presenting offers that they would like to get accepted, asking for buyer's choice for title OR escrow.

It doesn't mean beans what the state law is - in my humble opinion it has had ZERO effect on transactions in this area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Everyone else seems to have answered your question...BUT:

Tip next time around: choose your own services (title/escrow). New california laws say that the buyer is able to choose his/her own services and seller may not discriminate you based on your choice. Choose an escrow that is quick, efficient, trustworthy, and on your side =)


0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
If you are living up to your side of the contract, it is hard to guess how a seller can “opt out”. It is a CONTRACT. The seller cannot unilaterally opt out. What explanation have you gotten from your agent? Get a good clear explanation from your agent, hopefully not a dual agent. Perhaps the agent’s broker needs to get involved in this issue.

What cost do you have? Inspections? Perhaps the seller can be made to understand their responsibility for your costs if they have defaulted on the contract. Small claims court may be more appropriate than an attorney.

On the other hand, an attorney may be able to point out other areas in which you have been damaged by the seller’s action.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
While the other agent's answers may be "correct", the main issue is this. The buyer is the only person who has actually put money into the escrow. If you want your deposit returned quickly, you may have to give up some of it in order to get most of the deposit returned. You might have a case to go after the seller for reimbursement, but that would probably be a small claims issue - not something to pay an attorney to pursue.

The good news is that hopefully there might not have been any charges incurred, as it sounds as though the seller may not have even turned in their signed escrow instructions. Escrow is supposed to wait until receiving all signed instructions, prior to starting to spend money.

Also, most escrow firms do not charge much - if anything - for a cancellation fee, this early in the process. Good luck getting it resolved.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
First off, I hope you have your own agent and he/she should be protecting you. Next talk to a real estate attorney but do not pay for anything. Your agent should be asking why they backed out and if you want the house hold them to the contract.
Best of luck with everything! Come back and let us know how it turns out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
Do NOT pay for anything, and they don't get to just opt-out. You need to talk to your agent and get some answers. Did they get a better offer? too bad, they have a contract with you. If you are still interested in this home, I suggest that you contact a Real Estate attorney and get some advice!!! An escrow is a contract.....and they don't get to just change their minds. Get some help before you do ANYTHING.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
Absolutely not! You are not obligated to pay anything and should be receive a full refund of your earnest money deposit.
Web Reference: http://www.leanneaustin.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
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