I've made an offer for a property which has been accepted and I've also written check for deposit. Due to a number of reasons I want out of

Asked by David Kurtz, 95006 Tue May 18, 2010

the deal. But I need my deposit back. What are the circumstances under which buyer's deposit will be forfeited?

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Sandy Carroll, Agent, Seal Beach, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
If escrow doesn't have your deposit check, then in most cases the seller will not pursue damages.

If you have not yet had the physical inspection, usually you can find enough things to make the seller decide they won't make repairs, and you can stop the contract by not accepting the physical condition.
1 vote
Arturo Shive…, Agent, Danville, VA
Tue May 18, 2010
Please refer to your contract, terms, duties and obligations. By definition, your deposit might be forefeited if backing out of a deal after final contingency removal. California contracts have a liquidated damages clause that limit the amount of damages to 3% of the buyer deposit. If you and the seller did not agree to liquidated damages, then the entire deposit is up for grabs.

Reiterating what the other agent stated, if you are not acting in good faith, for example, you found out that a bank approval came through on a property that you wanted before getting into contract on the current property and need the deposit to open a new escrow. OR, you found out that your loan terms would not be as favorable as you thought but still within the financing terms set forth on the offer....so on and so forth. In these cases, the seller can try to seek remedy for lost marketing time if it resulted in a loss of value on appraisal, or something like that, etc.

The situation could require a mediation panel to make a ruling that is binding, after hearing both parties and the circumstances if the seller is refusing to willingly sign off and release the funds.

Note: Clarification on contingencies, merely 'passing' the contingency date does not constitute automatic removal; buyers must notifiy the seller in writing of such or cancel the contract.
1 vote
Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Tue May 18, 2010
-If you do not act in good faith.
-If you claim you want to pay cash and changed to lender financing.
-If there are no other offers and seller only accepts your offer.
-If you miss the time to investigate per contract.
1 vote
Patrick Thies, Agent, Anytown, IL
Tue May 18, 2010
If you are passed any contingency deadlines then it may be too late to withdraw from the contract without consequences. If you have not passed any contingency deadlines, then you could use those as a way out of the deal. It will depend on what is in your contract.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Tue May 18, 2010
It depends on your contract, but pretty much, I'd guess the circumstance that you're in would be one.

All the best,
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