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Bethany, Both Buyer and Seller in Philadelphia County,...

If a buyer backs out of a sale after the agreement has been signed, what recourse does the seller have?

Asked by Bethany, Philadelphia County, PA Wed Aug 12, 2009

No reason, they say decided to buy another house. 2nd question-I hear that both parties have to sign for the seller to keep the deposit monies. If that is the case, what point is there to having a deposit or a contract?

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Bethany,

It is true that both parties have to sign for you to keep the deposit, otherwise it goes into mediation, and sometimes to court from there. If they do not have a valid reason for backing out, I would ask to keep the security deposit. Sometimes they put up a stink, other times they forfeit it.

Good Luck!
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Listing agent should be able explain in detail all particulars. All is governed by executed sales agreement between seller and buyer. Escrow money in title requires amendment executed by seller / buyer presented to escrow agent.

There is an option period if buyer within that time period based on agreement can cancel with full amount of earnest money returned.

However without reviewing executed contract difficult to state.

If you don't have an agent confer with attorney OR title company

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1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Bethany

Read your contract and consult with your realtor or if you don't have one see an attorney.
The standard form PA contract includes several provisions for either the buyer or seller too terminate for cause. Under normal circumstances termination for cause includes a pre agreed condition to refund the deposit money to the buyer. However Termination of the contract and Release of the deposit are 2 different events. Termination is a unilateral event thhat can be initiated by either party. Release is a bilateral agreement to distribute the money. Distribution can be to either party or shared as long as both parties agree. If they can not agree then the deposit money should remain with the broker until an agreement is reached or ordered by the court or the result of arbitration.

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 14, 2009
Bethany
The only person to advise you should read all documents related to your transaction. Best advisor would be your Realtor or their broker, after that an attorney.

In most cases as long as the buyer has not removed all contingencies they can walk away for any reason.

In most cases your agent will continue marketing your property, so technically you are not "out" anything because the property was for sale during the contingency period.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 12, 2009
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
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