How can I get my $1000 earnest money back after I withdrew my offer after 10 days of giving the offer in Boston?

Asked by Wen, 02215 Wed Oct 28, 2009

I gave the offer with $1000 earnest deposit on Aug. 26, 2009 and withdrew the offer on Sep. 5 in writing. The $1000 check had been cleared on Sep. 2 by Coldwell Banker in Boston. According to the seller’s agent, I needed to ask my RE attorney to communicate with the seller’s attorney in order for the seller’s attorney to ask the seller to assign a release form. Then Coldwell Banker will release the fund to me after receiving the release form. But, currently the seller’s attorney doesn’t return the phone call to my attorney. Basically, my RE attorney is doing me a favor to call the original seller’s attorney. Since the deal did not go through, the seller’s attorney was not making any money from the deal. So my dilemma is how to get my money back. I am really confused. Thank you so much.

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Sari Inoue P…, , Newton, MA
Sat Oct 31, 2009
Hi there. You have not mentioned buyer agent, so I assume you did not have one. I have been on both sides of the transactions where the $1000 deposit was asked to be returned. In all of the cases, NO attorneys were involved. However, you do have to have a legitimate reason for withdrawing, based on the contingency in the executed offer, such as concerns that were raised based on inspection. If such was the case, and if you gave the request for refund in writing BEFORE the P&S date on the contract, looks like you have a case there. Since the seller agent is trying to pass the responsibility on to the attorneys, I would try to get in touch with the sales manager of the CBRB (Coldwell banker) branch that holds your escrow. If you have been following the contract to the 'T', then the sellers are obligated to sign off on the refunds. Having a reliable and knowledgeable buyer agent to represent you in a future might be a good idea...Remember, buyer agents job is not about just finding a home but getting to a closing table successfully. Good luck!

Sari Pearce, Realtor, ABR (Accredited Buyer Agent)
Century 21 Commonwealth
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Brandon Gard…, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Oct 28, 2009

You may have better luck getting an accurate answer to your question by posting using the zip code for the area where you were buying. This question posted in 78704 here in Austin, and you really need help in Boston or MA in general as their real estate procedures are substantially different than in Texas. Best of luck.
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Guy Gimenez, Agent, Austin, TX
Wed Oct 28, 2009
First, make sure you're within the terms of your prior contract. If you are, then ask your attorney what the MA laws are regarding this matter, and do some research on your own.

If you find the seller's attorney, seller or seller's agent are in violation of any law or regulation or the contract, allow your attorney to give you advice on how to proceed. Sounds like there may be some game playing going on, but your attorney obviously has the contract, so he/she is the one to start talking to about your options.
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