Home Selling in 30349>Question Details

Lorraine Hut…, Home Buyer in Nassau, NY

After signing a contract, the buyer (home investor), decided to drop. Do I get the Earnest Money that was agreed upon?

Asked by Lorraine Hutton, Nassau, NY Tue Jul 23, 2013

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Lorraine,

There are a number of factors that will determine whether or not the purchaser will be entitled to his/her earnest money. You should consult with your real estate attorney to review the purchase and sale agreement with you, to see if you have any legal recourse/remedies. Because I am not a real estate attorney, nor do I have additional information regarding the situation, I strongly suggest that you speak with your real estate attorney.

I hope this answered your question! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by the ways below.

Wishing you all the best,

De Vonte Williamson , LSA
Proudly Serving Long Island
Coldwell Banker Residential
Top Relocation Associate- Setauket,
"I Stand Behind Getting You Results!"
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
It's going to depend on the terms of your contract. Was the Buyer still in its due diligence period? Were there repairs or allowances rightfully requested that you refused? Was there a financing contingency that couldn't be satisfied? Depending on the language in your contract, there are a number of ways that the Buyer could terminate and still be entitled to his/her earnest money back.

Do you have an agent representing you? That is who you should be asking for guidance. If you are unrepresented, then you need to be talking to an attorney.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
Who have you started the small claims action against? The Buyer? You need to set up an appointment with your agent AND her broker ASAP to review your contract and discussion what should rightfully happen to the earnest money.

If your claim is against the agent at this point then you should try to contact her broker first. If that fails then contact the State licensing board.

Hopefully you can resolve this without going to small claims court. Good luck!
Flag Wed Jul 24, 2013
The contract says earnest money shall be available within 10 days from the Binding Agreement Date. They dropped the price of the house considerably a few days before the closing. My agent said they can't do that, but I have barely heard anything from her regarding it. I have started a Small Claims against them.
Flag Tue Jul 23, 2013
Jeff's answer sums it up well. It always goes back to the terms and wording in the contract you signed when you have a question. Sometimes the answer is clear, sometimes you need a skilled agent (if you have one) or an attorney to interpret it for you. Additionally, if the PSA you used was not a common State Realtor Association contract, and you signed a custom contract the investor had drafted - they can have very one-sided terms in favor of the investor, and you will likely need a lawyers advice as agent realtors are not attorneys and these investor contracts are often well over an agents head.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
I agree with Jeff, you should review the Purchase and Sale contract with your agent (or Real Estate Attorney) to ascertain whether or not the contract was appropriately terminated or simply broken.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 23, 2013
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