Have the Listing Office Broker explain to you what your particular options are in California and then follow the protocol.
The loss of the buyer job, will prohbit his loan from being approved which means the house will not go to closing. The Purchase Agreement should contain information as to how this will be handled regarding the return or division of the Escrow Deposit.
In reference to "Liquidated damages" ....this means that the amount of the earnest or deposit money would be handed over to the seller, to cover losses, in the event the buyer is in BREACH of the contract. The key word here is Breach.................under these circumstances, losing one's job, and not being able to complete the purchase may not defined as a breach .
Call an attorney............let him or her advise you.
I am sorry this has happened to you.................I know how upsetting it must be.
I had a similar situation. My buyer lost his job 2 weeks before the scheduled closing date....he and his wife were heartbroken.......so was the seller.
The buyer had a mortgage contingency in the contract, but although it had been satisfied when he received his commitment, he could not complete the purchase as the mortgage company would no longer give him the loan.(they check enployment prior to the closing)
In this case, it was decided that the buyer was entitled to have his depost money returned, as he acted in good faith, and the loss of his job was out of his control. In a way, his mortgage contingency protected him from losing his deposit money. If he couldn't get a mortgage, he couldn't buy the home, even though the commitment was in place.
Now............this is what occurred in my situation.......it may work out differently for you.
Call an attorney ASAP, and see where you stand. No realtor should or can give you legal advice.
Prudential NJ Properties
What does your Realtor say?
One question is this:
Although you may be legally entitled to keep their deposit, is that they fair thing to do if the buyer really lost his job?
Review the paperwork with your attorney and Realtor, then you make the call.
If the buyer removed the contingencies you may be able to keep the deposit. But if he does not release the deposit from the escrow and you donot sign the cancellation of the escrow than you will probably enter a long dispute and may end up in arbitration. If he truly lost his job and can prove it you may not win. But if the the deposit is signifcant you should talk to an attorney so you can handle wisely.
Maybe. It depends on the way the contract was written and whether or not contingencies were actually removed. There is no automatic guarantee that you get the deposit.
Without knowing more details or seeing the contract, it is very hard to know.