First, as Realtor, it would be extreemly rare for me to advise my seller to accept an offer from someone without a pre-approval letter from a reputable lender. Further, I don't allow my buyer agents to show more than a house or two to a person until we are able to get them pre-approved for a loan. Not only do you tie your money up, but the seller loses precious marketing time taking the home off the market to deal with someone who hasn't demonstrated the ability to actually pay for the purchase. My goal as a Realtor is to make a win win for everyone and we all walk away from the closing table delighted.
As far as the appraisal fee is concerned, you should be able to get that back from the mortgage broker as they have not ordered or had the appraisal service performed.
Good luck to you. If you need further assistance, I might be able to put you in touch with a local Keller Williams agent like myself in GA.
In your question you state that your lender is unable to get you a "satisfactory" loan. I suppose the question I have is how long have you known that a "satisfactory" loan wasn't available to you? You are bound by specific time-frames within the sales agreement, if those dates have past, you probably have little chance of recovering your earnest money. In regard to your appraisal fee. It's not unusual for the lender to collect these fees up-front since once they order the appraisal, they are required to pay the appraiser whether the loan closes or not. The appraiser did their job and expect payment. If the lender hasn't ordered the appraisal yet, nobody is out any money, and the lender should refund this fee.
For future reference . . . Anytime you get within two weeks of the proposed closing date and an appraisal hasn't been ordered by then. This should be a red-flag that there something going wrong. I would be contacting the lender to see what problems are surfacing with your loan that they aren't comfortable in having this necessary step completed. Hope you have a good Realtor representing your interest, Best of luck - Steve
Good luck and my best wishes. Truly, John Allaire
Could this fee be for something other than the appraisal? Like a loan ap. fee?
Insofar, as the earnest money is concerned; that can be dicey.
Once you sign a contract you are held to the terms therein. There is a special stipulation that states you can get out of the contract if your financing doesn't come through - but it is only good under special situations - in some instances just not qualifying isn't enough.
There was a recent case where the seller sued for specific performance; even though the buyer couldn't afford the home - the seller was awarded the earnest money. This is mainly due to the fact that during the time you had the property under contract other potential buyers were lost.
This really is a haphazard way of telling you that you can probably get out of the contract but you are at the mercy of the seller where the earnest money is concerned.
Moral of the Story: Get prequalified before you put a house under contract. It will save you this type of grief in the future - and keep your funds in your bank
If this is New Construction, all bets are off, please call the builder immediately to arrange alternative financing. They use their own contracts most of the time so any advice would be very limited. If it's a resale then read on...
In terms of the earnest money, it's likely that you'd be past all your contingencies to keep it (although you should check with your agent), in which case you should switch loan persons. A good one will get you to the table on time but it will be very difficult (especially without the appraisal done). Standard Georgia contracts come with a unilateral extension right of 7 days. Assuming you haven't used it already, you could extend the closing by 7 days without penalty.
Your best bet, is to consult with your Realtor to find out what your options are. Communication is key, even if the loan person you mentioned here is their recommended person.
"Satisfactory" is not a term in the contract. Please review the contract, there are "ceiling" terms in the contract. Meaning, if you used a standard Georgia form, then you'll have the terms of your supposed loan spelled out. You should check immediately to see if you still have any financial contingency period left on your contract.
Something else to consider is who you were talking with, what is your financial situation, what loan would be satisfactory? In my experience, 8 loan officers will give you 8 different options, but most reputable companies will be close to one another with their quotes. You should always shop 3 and see which one would be best. You can have them check your credit up to 5 times without penalty.