What do I do if the seller refuses to sign the release even though I was well within my rights in the contract?

Asked by Mrmonte, Berkley, MI Tue Apr 13, 2010

There was a contingency for mortgage approval. I was denied a mortgage and signed the earnest money release and purchase agreement cancellation forms well within the time frame listed in the purchase agreement.

I have now been waiting 3 weeks. Still nothing. No help from my agent either.

Any suggestions?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Nancy Robins…, Agent, Royal Oak, MI
Wed Jan 23, 2013
Contact both Realtors brokers/managers and ask for help after you have the denial letter from the lender. NO one can help you without the denial letter. In Michigan EMD is almost never returned but by buyers and sellers signing a release. However if you can demontrate the mortgage denial was based on your inability to be financed, not your resistance to comply with loan requirements, some brokers will take the responsibility to allow the release. Michigan State escrow laws are rather strict so most brokers wont touch this issue.

You can try to reingage your buyers agent to get the release signed by assuring them you will come back to them to purchase when you are able. Or you can remind them their duty to assist you extends past the purchase agreement and they have a fiduciary duty to help you get our money back. All Realtor boards allow for a public complaint against a Realtor, And abandonment of agency is a serious issue. And yes I agree you should contact a lawyer.

Nancy Robinson Century 21 Town and Country 248 556 7407
0 votes
Jay M. Jones, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Wed Apr 14, 2010
If your buyer's agent is not responding to your calls or assisting you with this, you need to go directly to the office manager/broker. Hopefully the broker will be able to put more pressure on the listing brokerage to press the matter w/ the seller. If that fails to get the seller moving, talk to the broker to discuss your next option. Good luck!

Jay M. Jones, Realtor
Max broock, Birmingham
Web Reference:  http://www.MyRealtorJay.com
0 votes
Trevolyn Hai…, Agent, Highland, CA
Tue Apr 13, 2010
Hello Mrmonte,
Until the seller signs the release of deposit back to you, not only do you not get your deposit back but he can not sell the property to anyone else. As soon as he gets a new buyer he will be signing; in the meantime, it sounds like he is just being a j**k or his agent hasn't notified him or explained that he needs to sign the cancellation instructions.
Escrow does not want to hold your deposit indefinitely so if there is no resolution between the parties, they will eventually make you both go to court or arbitration/mediation.
Good luck.
0 votes
Dave Griswol…, Agent, Bridgewater, NJ
Tue Apr 13, 2010
did you have a Lawyer? If so it's a simple release. If not I'd contact the Broker of the Office that your Realtor is with and notify them. In addition write a formal letter requesting your earnest money returned. Do it immediately.
hope that helps
Dave & Lisa
Web Reference:  http://www.urhomerealty.net
0 votes
Mary Jo Daly, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Apr 13, 2010
Everyone always seems to move slow when a contract is cancelled and there is money to return. Its a shame! If the selling side has an agent contact the selling side Broker as well as your attorney to get it straight.
Web Reference:  http://www.maryjodaly.com
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Berkley Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more