What does Florida lay say about return of Deposit after deal falls through.Or how long can the Realtor hang on to your deposit .??

Asked by Geoff Seato, Toronto, OH Thu Jan 28, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Murray Balkc…, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
Good answers below. I will add that your question doesn't give us complete information. What do you mean that the "deal fell through?" That sounds like the transaction is not going to happen, but the question is "why?" Was there a breach of the contract? Or, were the contingencies not met per terms of contract?

The answers from the other posters really apply to if there was no breach of contract. If there was no breach, both parties must sign a Return of Escrow Deposit form before the earnest money can be returned. As noted by other posters, if there is disagreement on the return, then it must be reported.

If there was a breach of contract on your part, the earnest money may be taken as damages by the other party.

Realtors should avoid "hanging on to deposits" as that is illegal. Brokers can hold deposits in escrow account, but have no reason to do so since title companies do it. The number one violation of brokers is inaccurate reporting/handling of escrow deposits. My broker doesn't have escrow accounts. We have title companies hold all deposits.
0 votes
Fitzgeraldma…, Home Buyer, Miami, FL
Thu May 25, 2017
I put a contract to purchase a condo in Lake Worth 10 days later I went back in to the unit to get a copy of the condo docs. The smell of the unit had me on the floor. The condo docs read
no money in reserves, it is on rented land & referred to condo as apartments. I immediately went home, the smell lingered on my clothes and car. I could still smell it once in my home. I just could not buy this unit. I am having a difficult time getting my deposit back. It has been 6 days. If I do not have my deposit back first of next week. I will contact DBR. Division of Realtors.
0 votes
Randy and Vi…, Agent, Punta Gorda, FL
Tue Jun 10, 2014
1st off the realtor never holds on to earnest deposits, they are they are held in escrow with an escrow agent. When, how and under what circumstances the deposit is returned depends on the terms of the contract. If neither party is in default of a contract and once both parties have signed the release form, it should only be a day or so before the deposit is released.
0 votes
Robert Steve…, , Placida, FL
Fri Jan 29, 2010
Its an issue of Florida escrow law. Both parties have to agree on who gets it. If you were the buyer and you have cancelled the contract, you need to request the escrow back. If the seller thinks they deserve it , then you have a dispute. No Realtor or broker can make that decision. You will have to arbitrate the action.
0 votes
Dane Hahn, Agent, Englewood, CO
Thu Jan 28, 2010
Hi Geoff,

Call me at 603-566-5460 and I will go to bat for you with the Broker who represented that transaction. When a deal falls through without it being your fault, you should get your deposit back As Soon As Possible--with "Possible" being the operative word. I will be available all morning--and will be at an open house in the afternoon over on Manasota Key.

Dane Hahn
Web Reference:  http://daneandsandra.com
0 votes
Due to a severe illness that was just detected,we had to cancell our vacation rental in Singer Island Florida,the realtor does not want to refund the esrow or the titlle seach by condo which was not done...Help
Flag Sun Nov 10, 2013
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Thu Jan 28, 2010

This is a matter that should be taken up with the BROKER of the agent and or the Florida Real Estate Commission - Department of Professional Regulation - Division of Real Estate. There are many variables that could effect a decent answer.

What are the terms of the purchase agreement?
Loan Contingency?
Inspections, etc.

Typically, the deposit is released to the proper party within 48 hours of determining the rightful recipient. Has there been a Deposit Dispute initiated? Ask for a Release and Cancellation of Contract...

≈≈≈ Mott Marvin Kornicki, REALTOR® ≈≈≈
Aventura | Bal Harbour | Sunny Isles Beach
≈≈≈≈≈≈ "★”This is the House “★" ≈≈≈≈≈≈
0 votes
Jason Stevens, , Englewood, FL
Thu Jan 28, 2010
I assume you are the buyer or were the potential buyer on this deal. If your deposit is being held in the escrow account of your agents company and the deal has offically fallen through, your agent should of gotten a release and cancellation form signed by both you and the seller that the deal fell through and that you are entitled to the deposit back. If for some reason the deal fell through because you didn't hold up your end of the bargain and the seller is demanding the deposit as compensation then that's a whole different ballgame. Tell me this. Why did the deal fall apart? Was there an executed contract (signed) by both you and the seller for this deal?

Jason Stevens, REALTOR®, GRI, ABR
Graduate Realtor Institute
Accredited Buyers Representative
Real Estate Broker Associate
REOTrans Platinum Certified
Kevin Flynn Realty, Inc.
Email: jasonstevens@embarqmail.com
Cell - 941-662-0379
Home Office - 941-698-0973
Home Fax - 941-698-0973
Website: http://www.jasonestevens.com
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Englewood Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more