I put down a deposit on a property that I was trying to purchase. I was having some difficulty getting

Asked by Stefanie, Bakersfield, CA Thu Apr 24, 2008

financing and my real estate agent had me sign a couple of extension to have more time to obtain financing. Ultimately I was unable to obtain financing and the seller's agent just informed me that they would not be returning my deposit since it was past the financing contingenncy date. When my agent filed extensions he told me that I was not at risk of losing me deposit if my loan did not go through and the extensions where the appropriate action to ensure this. I'm not sure what to do and if they can actually keep my deposit despite the extensions.

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Heidi Golff, Agent, Ventura, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
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The release of deposit on the cancellation of escrow is to have it released to YOU. That is all ;that it means. Both parties have to agree on that and the bank didn't. I stand by my previous advice. Next, find a reputable lender and start over. Lenders are changing the programs daily. Check into the CHAPHA (misspelled - sorry) loans that give you down payment assistance or the new Neimia (probably misspelled that, too) loans. FHA has changed a lot these days. Check those out. Get your deposit back and find out what it is you need to do in order to get ready for a successful purchase.
Web Reference:  http://heidigolff.com
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Stefanie, Home Buyer, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Thank you so much for the advise!
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Sarah Franco, , Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Stephanie,
So you did sign a release of deposit. The only thing I can say now is give yourself a little more time, fiugre out what you need to do, whether it be credit issues or not, get it taken care of so that you can get financing in the future. I know buying a home is a big goal in everyone's life, and at times it is frustrating or sometimes it can go smoothly. Do not let one Realtor, ruin that dream for you. Next time, get feedback from friends or family about the Realtor(s) they have used. Also, do not be afraid to interview the Realtor, before you decide that you want them to work with you.
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Stefanie, Home Buyer, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Thank you for all your assistance. Also I did sign a cancellation of contract, release of deposit and joint escrow instructions. My agent told me that this was simply to cancel the deal and he included an addendum requesting the return of my deposit, which they are obviously not doing. Is this a problem for me, since now I have absolutely no trust in what my agent has done?
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Heidi Golff, Agent, Ventura, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
The fact that they did not sign the extensions is not the same as agreeing. In the California contract, unless they serve you with a 24 hours notice to perform to release that contingency, THAT is the same as agreeing to an extension. The money will sit in escrow until the issue is resolved. In the California contract, these issues are to be handled by mediation first, then arbitration if you don't like what the mediator said. Check to see if all parties initialed the middle 2 sections of page 5. You can go to your local mediator and request mediation. With a bank owned property, I don't know how easy it is going to be to get them to that table. If they do not cooperate with the mediator, it will make it easier in small claims. Small claims will only work on claims under $7,000. If they don't show up to small claims and you can prove they were uncooperative with the mediation efforts, the small claims judge may give it to you with no further complications. By the way, you can go to your agent's broker and ask him/her to give you more information and support than you are getting.
Web Reference:  http://heidigolff.com
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Stefanie, Home Buyer, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
I did not sign a release of contingency, just the extensions requesting more time to obtain financing without penalties or fees to myself. I spoke to my agent and he stated that the seller's did not also sign these extension agreeing to them, but since they did not respond back disagreeing it was the same thing as agreeing. My agent is also telling me there is nothing he can do and I should just sue the seller (which is a bank), in small claims court to get my deposit back. I am trying to contact the seller's agent to make sure she is aware that there were extensions filed requesting no penalty (which my agent told me he assumed meant I wouldn't lose my deposit). I am not sure what to do now since my agent is telling me he doesn't know how to help me.
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Sarah Franco, , Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Hello,

As stated before if you have not signed a release of contingency, you have the right to get your deposit back. I would also have your Realtor handle that, and if not , he/she should go to their broker to handle matters,hopefully then the issue gets resolved. It is always wise to obtain financing first before signing any contracts or putting down any deposit.
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Kathleen Sei…, Agent, Gainesville, FL
Thu Apr 24, 2008
Did your agent every get the other party to sign the addendum extending your deadline? Ask them for a copy.

In Florida both parties have to sign off on how the deposit will be distributed, and if they don't agree then the issue goes to the state for arbitration. This can take a while. I don't know how things work where you are, but your first step to keeping the deposit is not to sign off on giving it away. Talk to your agent about how things work in Bakersfield.
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Heidi Golff, Agent, Ventura, CA
Thu Apr 24, 2008
If you never signed a "release of contingency" with regard to the loan contingency, you have the right to receive your deposit back. Let your agent go to battle for you. If he/she won't, go to the broker. If you DID sign the contingency release for the loan, there could be a problem. Please know, a lot of sellers make this threat but in the cold light of day, when they realize they can't do anything about it, they go ahead and sign the escrow cancellation papers and give the deposit back without a problem. Emotions need to cool down.
Web Reference:  http://heidigolff.com
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