Can a realtor or bank or title company keep your escrow money if another offer is accepted after yours?

Asked by Dee, Cocoa, FL Fri Apr 11, 2008

I don't know who got the escrow cashier's check I submitted to my realtor. I just know I don't have it.

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Ute Ferdig, Agent, Auburn, CA
Fri Apr 11, 2008
Hi Dee. I did not realize that you did not have a copy of the check to see to whom it was made payable. Typically, the banks deal with the same escrow company and your agent should be able to find out which company that is. Frankly, I can't believe that your agent sent originals and did not keep a copy. To me, that does not make any sense as he/she needs a copy for the office file. I am wondering whether the bank that issued your cashier's check wouldn't have a record of the check. I am sure this will not happen to you again.
1 vote
Larry Story, Agent, Greensboro, NC
Fri Apr 11, 2008
Don is correct. As long as you are not in breach of your contract your earnest money will be returned to you. I would have your agent stay on top of it though. The listing real estate company is where the check went. They have to deposit in their escrow account for just that purpose. So once the other offer is accepted and they have a signed contract then the earnest money should be returned to you.

Larry Story
Coldwell Banker Triad
1 vote
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Apr 11, 2008
Hi Dee:

I am not in Cocoa and I don't know your specific contract terms, but from your previous question, it seems to me you have kept all your contract terms and the lender ended up accepting another offer ahead of yours.

They (realtor, bank, nor title company) should not be able to keep your cashier's check. BTW, the money should have been turned over to the escrow company if you have opened escrow. If your agent did what he/she is supposed to do, the escrow company should have that check and should be sending that back.

However, the money should not have gone to escrow unless you have a formal acceptance from the bank. But from your other question, the bank did not accept your offer but another person's.

So, if I understand everything correctly, the money should come back to you.

1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Apr 11, 2008
I don't know how it operates where you are, but in Virginia (at least where I am) the real estate firm has an escrow account, and the check must be promptly deposited into it. And if for some reason (other than your failure to follow through) the transaction doesn't proceed, the money should be promptly returned to you. Check with your Realtor; he/she will have the answer.
1 vote
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