Home Buying in Austin>Question Details

Mike, Both Buyer and Seller in San Diego, CA

is it possible for a builder to keep my earnest money although they sold the house to some one else, and refuse to sign my cancellation?

Asked by Mike, San Diego, CA Mon Jun 4, 2012

can a builder keep the earnest money deposit although they sold house for something. and refuse to sign cancellation/?

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Bruce Lynn’s answer
You will want to refer back to your contract.
There are obligations on both sides.
So it depends on the circumstances.
There are situations where you may not be able to recover earnest money on both new builds and previously owned homes.
If you do not understand the circumstances you may want your realtor or attorney to review the contract with you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
Possible, you bet, legal that's another question and without having your signed contract to review no one can answer your qeustions effectively. Do yourself a favor, instead of asking online, go see an attorney. My guess is you are entitled to your depost back, and a call to the builder from your attorney will be the fastest way to get it.

In addition you may want to contact the State Attorney Generals and the State Real Estate Commissicon office in the state where you were buying the home and file a complaint against the builder, that will get thier attention.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 14, 2012
The lesson here is believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see.

Your contract is your guding document and no one here has read it, so seek legal counsel if you feel the seller wrongfully retained your deposit, but I will add that builder contracts typically state that anything their representative says to you has no meaning contractually. Trust me my friend, builder contracts are as one sided as a mirror and yours side ain't the shiny one.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
the house is in Austin and the builder is Milestone.and their agent promised that I would not loose my deposit but failed to get the manager to sign cancellation and return the deposit They sold the house for more than 25000 dollars more.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
You should read your contract carefully as everything is outlined in that contract. Have your Realtor review if you used one. When a client of mine buys a new builder home I always take the time to go over every page of the contract as the builder uses their own contracts and those contracts always favor the builder.

It's important to fully read and understand how you and the builder are required to perform. This is another reason to always use a Realtor. They builder sales representative represents the builder and their job is to get you to spend as much as possible for the home. Your Realtor's job is to represent you and ensure you are getting the best deal. This is done by educating our clients on the market.

Review your contract and see what your options are. You may be able to set up an arbitration meeting but if so that will be stipulated in the contract.

Best of luck to you.

Don Groff
REALTOR® | Mortgage Broker
Keller Williams Realty | 360 Lending Group
o 512.669.5599 m 512.633.4157
listings@dongroff.com | http://www.AustinListed.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
What Bruce said........

Tom Burris
Mortgage Banker
(214) 763-4629 cell/text/nights/weekends(Really!!)
Lending all across the entire Great State of Texas!!
NMLS# 335055
Search Dallas area MLS for FREE. No registration => http://www.ntreisinnovia.net/cgi-ntr/BR_login?0501134
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
I agree with the answers below. The builde's use their own forms and the builder's rep. should have talked with you about the consequences if certain provisions in the contract allow for them to keep your earnest money. They may have put in upgrades that they normally may not be able to re-coop on the next sale. Next time ask a Realtor to help you if you already haven't. We are equipped to help all consumers.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
Mike, yes , the builder can keep your earnest money and is not required to sign your cancellation. Many larger builders use their own contracts and it is imperative that you understand what your rights are before paying earnest money and signing the contract.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012

Your question indicates the city of San Marcos, but the state of California. Are you in Texas, where there is a San Marcos just south of Austin, or are you in California, near Escondido?

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
No one on this forum will know the details of your tansactions except for you. You should be directing your legal question to your attorney if it really bothers you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
I'm not a lawyer but I have seen this happen many times.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 4, 2012
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