Contingent contract ran out but earnest money not released someone else made an offer but we still want to buy the house will earnest money make a dif

Asked by Michelle, 75692 Thu Jul 21, 2011

We made an offer on a house with a contigent contract and it ran out. Seller an I had a verbal aggrement that we would still buy the home contingent on ours selling did not have the earnest money returned. Someone else has made an offer on the home seller called and I told them that we still wanted to buy but they took the offer we have not signed the release of earnest money cas we still try and purchase the home even though they have a sale pending now. We really want this house.

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Stacy Jenkins, Agent, Friendswood, TX
Thu Jul 21, 2011
I agree with Don. Verbal offers do not hold water with in the court system. Were you or are you and the seller using a realtor? Your realtor should be talking with the selling agent and you and the seller should rely on their expertise and not try to negotiate outside of them. That is why they offer professional services and are aware of the legal issues. If you are not working with a realtor, contact a real estate attorney and see what they recommend. But by all means sign the release so that you can get onto the next home.
1 vote
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Thu Jul 21, 2011
Sorry, but you've probably lost the house. Your offer could be a backup offer, in case the offer the sellers accepted falls through.

A few other points:

The verbal agreement you and the seller had doesn't count. In real estate, agreements MUST be in writing in order to be enforceable.

And understand the seller's position. The seller wants to sell. He'd be willing to sell to you and you did have first shot at it. But your offer contained a contingency, and your offer got kicked out when a better one (without the contingency) came in and you declined to remove your contingency.

Check with your Realtor. I'd suggest you sign the release of earnest money. Right now, from your description, the sellers have agreed to accept the other offer. In fact, they might already have a ratified contract on it. Your earnest money isn't doing any good sitting in someone else's escrow account. Ask your Realtor what you should be doing in order to have your offer be the backup offer.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Thu Jul 21, 2011
Everything you said, leads me to believe that you dug this hole all by yourself: Do did not have a BUYERS AGENT representing you.

We are getting questions like this every darn day.

The Buyer's Agents costs you nothing, but not having one can cost you a lot.

Go talk to the Title Company, they have should have your money. You did give the money to a Title Company, didn't you?

Good lucjk and may God bless
0 votes
Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Jul 21, 2011
I would request the release of the earnest money fast, quick and in a hurry. You can submit a backup offer but since it's contingent you have less chance of it becoming a primary contract.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Jul 21, 2011
You need confer with your buyer agent and executed sale agreement which governs what can OR can't take place

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
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Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Thu Jul 21, 2011
All valid offers for real estate in Texas must be in writing.
Where is your realtor?
What do they say.
Some contingent offers have kickout clauses, which means if a second offer comes in you have X amount of time to remove your contingency. Not sure if you had this or not.
If you don't have a realtor you need to hire an attorney to write your contracts.
You should request the title company release your earnest money.....please tell me you did not give it to the seller directly, but depositied it in an escrow account at a title company.
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