Sorry to hear of your dilemma. My guess is that you do not have a Realtor guiding you or you would ask that person and not post on line. Sorry for you but, if that is the case, you are now a poster child for why you need to work with a professional.
As you will note, several answers here are guessing, just as I have, about what you have and what is going on. So, without having the specifics, people from as far away as Arizona are trying to figure out what you have in New Jersey. Where's the sense in that?
I'm in New Jersey, I'm a licensed broker and Realtor and I haven't a clue as to where you stand. I wouldn't help you on a bet! Why not? I do this for a living (more or less.) There's no profit in straightening out this affair for any new agent. There is already a contract in place.
The larger issue though, is the advice that almost everyone has mentioned, that of the need for legal counsel. At this point you have a contract (or at least an implied one. I hope it is in writing.) The seller has some money of yours and does not wish to give it back. Does your contract cover this issue at all? Did you act within the time limits of the contract? Did you act as per the contract and was the contract clear that your request to be refunded your money be in writing? If there's a no in this string of answers to the questions, what other recourse do you have? There are a ton of other escapes that may be valid reasons to void the contract. I can think of a biggie right off the top of my head but, unfortunately, I have no idea of what your contract says or what else has transpired.
In my opinion, you have now passed from the casual advice stage to the legal counsel stage of negotiations, if not for litigation, then for legal advice as to your rights. While the seller may be a hard head (and it appears that way from your write-up,) he may have the good sense not to tangle with the courts. In the long run, he wants to sell the place and ANY complication will create a cloud over any subsequent interest on the part of a knowledgeable buyer. With a deposit on the house in place, I think you have created what is known as an "equitable Interest" in the property. A lawyer will be able to tell you and, if needed, the seller whether this is true and what it means. I am not qualified to do so.
Best wishes and try to stay off the bulletin boards as an example of what not to do in the future, ok?
As usualy William Holt was right on the money. You need serious legal advise pronto!!!
I do have a few questions though....a faulty furnace and mold issues totaled $15,000 in repairs???? Did you get estimates from professionals about the cost to remediate?? How bad was the mold issue, where is it, and was it visible when you looked at the house? Was the sale an "strictly as is sale"?? Are you being represented by an attorney?? If not get one ASAP and see what they say.
Best of Luck
Kathy and Paul
If you've used the standard NJAR contract and met the time frames outlined in the 'Inspection Contingency Clause' it should be pretty straight forward. If you haven't used the contract it might be a little more complicated, but not impossible. Call a NJ attorney, and good luck.
Keller Williams Atlantic Shore
Good luck to you.
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Sorry about the situation. Do you have an attorney representing you? As a real estate broker associate, (not an attorney) I can not give you legal advice, I can advise you to seek an attornye to review your contract to give you advise. The attorney should be able to tell you if the seller can keep your deposit or not. Also, the attorney should be able to tell you what your recourse is regarding the selle'sr response regarding the home inspection report based on the terms of the contract, signed by you and the seller. Good luck. I hope all works out well for you.
How are you?
You have to talk with an attorney who represents you in this transaction.
Sellers are not right in this situation, especially with mold. Mold is health hazard and not working properly furnace is possible fire hazard. Ask sellers for a credit or walk out off contract. You are right, if only you are not buying home in as-is condition, but still with mold you can demand credit for job to be done.
No one can force anyone to buy a house, if there are problems there that may increase risk of illness of people who will be living there.
This is my personal opinion.
But if you did not make it contingent then you must see if there is any other contingency you can use to get out of the contract.