Question Details

Sharon, Home Buyer in Hesperia, CA

Can I withdraw my offer and if so will I lose my earnest money deposit?

Asked by Sharon, Hesperia, CA Mon Jun 9, 2008

I made an offer over a week ago on a home. We we're told we'd hear back in 3-5 days but we didn't so this weekend we looked at more homes and we would like to make an offer on a new home.

The offer I made on the first home included a 1.5% earnest deposit. My agent told me I could make offers on as many homes as I wanted at one time, but everything I've read says that's not correct and that I have to withdraw my offer before I make another offer.

Whats my next step? Should I WAIT it out for this first home and HOPE my offer is accepted? We offered a bit below asking. Can I withdraw my offer and look elsewhere? Will I lose my earnest deposit for backing out? The offer has not been accepted and I assume the chance is pretty low of it being accepted anyways. We knew this going in. That certain area was more expensive and maxed our loan so we offered under asking and was told there was another offer as well.

Whats my choices?

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Answers

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In general, unless the contract was signed by the seller, your earnest money should not have been deposited. If your earnest money was desposited without a fully executed contract, then most likely someone on the seller's side of the transaction will be in trouble. If the contract was not accepted and/or signed, then you should be free to withdraw the offer and have your check returned, but make sure to check with your agent and/or attorney before you act in haste.

If the offer is accepted and the contract is signed by the seller, then it's a different story. You would have to review your position with your realtor and/or attorney to see under what conditions you could cancel the contract, and see how it would effect it would have on getting your money returned.

I agree with Mr. DIna below in saying that it's never a good idea to submit multiple offers on multiple homes simultaneously, as you may very well wind up losing earnest money if multiple sellers accept your offers (that is, unless you want to buy several homes at once).

Check the terms of your original offer to see if the seller had a certain amount of time to respond before the offer expired, have your agent pursue the seller's agent to see what, if anything, the sellers are doing about the offers, and, as always, consult a real estate attorney on the matter.

Hope this helps! Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 9, 2008
I am not a lawyer and not giving you legal advice. I am licensed in Texas and the rules in your state may be different. So here goes... .

Putting in multiple offers may mean you are going to be buying multiple homes!!! I would NEVER allow a client put in an offer on more than one property at a time.

If you want to withdraw your offer, put it in writing and instruct your agent to get it to the sellers immediately. Once it is withdrawn and you have your EO back, then proceed on to the next property.

DO NOT be in a hurry to buy a home. Always buyer beware (caveat emptor).

Good luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 9, 2008
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