Question Details

Karen, Home Seller in Rancho Mirage, CA

My buyer backed out. I had the 3 minor things corrected that he wanted. It was to be a cash sale. Can I keep?

Asked by Karen, Rancho Mirage, CA Thu Jun 26, 2008

his deposit?

Help the community by answering this question:


In Georgia, if the buyer backed out before the end of the due diligence period where inspections and such are done then he can get the earnest money back. If it was after that period has ended then you can keep the earnest money.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Hi Karen,

In California it's very difficult for a seller to keep a buyer's earnest money deposit. You'd have to prove you've suffered some damages to lay claim to their deposit.

If the buyer canceled under contingencies stated in the contract, there's not much you can do except return their deposit and put the home back on the market. If all the buyer contingencies were removed you may have a right to keep all or part of the deposit. You'd need to retain an attorney to advise you on where you stand.

Have your listing agent go over the contract with you and determine whether the buyer had lived up to the terms of the contract, and were they proceeding in good faith?

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Was the buyer within the option period when the transaction was canceled? If not, consult with an attorney if the buyer will not release the earnest money to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 26, 2008
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer