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tomm, Real Estate Pro in Tampa, FL

Is it possible to review an Ernest Money agreement for review prior to writing an offer?

Asked by tomm, Tampa, FL Mon Apr 15, 2013

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Alma Rose Kee, P.A.’s answer
Thanks Antonio... also Lisa makes a very good point about if the escrow is held at a Real Estate firm it's a different process to get your deposit released back. Most Real Estate firms will not hold escrow because it's an accounting and legal nightmare but some will.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
I fully agree with Alma Rose below.

There are no "Ernest Money agreements" per se. What most contracts state is that if within the inspection period you decide to cancel the contract you get the money back. After that it becomes a gray zone and any escrow refunds needs to be renegotiated. All is spell on the Far Bar contract, ask your agent for a blank copy to review.

Tony Vega
La Rosa realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
In regards to earnest money - the important information that is not located in the contract is how the funds are released depending on where it is held. If the funds are held at a real estate firm in their escrow account - the procedures dictated by Florida Real Estate Commission. Please see Chapter 61J2-10.032 Notice requirements.

If the funds are held by a title company - they usually require both parties to sign for any release. Ask your real estate agent for their title company contact and speak to them about their policies for earnest money release.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
Hi TomM,

If you're making an offer on a Short Sale just be very careful before handing over any money.

You see in Tampa Bay most earnest money deposits are held at a title company and the title company cannot release your deposit unless the Seller and you sign a release.

I know of a case where the seller on a short sale refused to sign the release and attempted to coerce that buyer to give him half of the money although the buyer was fully within his right to cancel. That buyer then had to bring a lawsuit against the seller to get his money back.

It's better (and fairer) for a short sale not to require an earnest (good faith) deposit until/if the property is approved to sell by all lenders and lienholders at a price you are willing to pay.

If we're talking about new construction then the developer will write their own contract and earnest money deposit requirements.

If you're not already working with a Realtor, give me a call and I can offer to assist you.

All the best,
Alma
Alma Rose Kee, PA
http://www.SoldOnTampa.com
813.244.9898
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
Absolutely - just ask your Realtor for a copy of a blank contract so you can review the section on the escrow deposit.

Liane Jamason, REALTOR
Smith & Associates Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
Sure it is, just ask the Realtor for a copy of the offer and take it to read it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 15, 2013
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