Home Buying in San Jose>Question Details

Iamsohot, Home Buyer in Florida

how to get escrow deposit back?

Asked by Iamsohot, Florida Sun Sep 9, 2012

A few months ago I put an offer on a home and an escrow deopsit. I found out the home was sold and I want my deposit back. what are the steps in getting in back and how long does it take?

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Maria Cipollone’s answer
Considering that the house was sold you should not have a problem to get your deposit back righ away. Contact the Real Estate Agent that you give the deposit and ask for your money back.


Maria Cipollone
4 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Yes, contact your agent and your Escrow company.

I'm surprised that it sold before your deposit was addressed.

As Lance and Don stated, both the buyer and seller must agree to release. If the Seller can not be found then the Escrow Holder will have file for an interpleader.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
If you went through a title company the deposit cannot be released without buyer and seller signing a cancellation form. I would call the title co or have your agent do it and request the form be sent to the seller. If they will not sign then you will likely have to go through the dispute resolution process proscribed in your contract.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Contact your Realtor.

It shouldn't be difficult. Technically, both you and the seller must agree to its release. However, considering that the house was sold there shouldn't be any problem with the seller agreeing to release your deposit.

With all the paperwork done, it should really only take a matter of days.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
I am in California so the law is different. The seller has to approve it. If the seller is now the bank then you contact the bank through a letter from a lawyer.

Recently I had an unfortunate incident where the seller used the short sale offer to stop foreclosure. They did not show up at escrow. The agent was no help. We went to Small Claim Court. The seller signed the cancellation to sell. The buyer received the deposit.

Sam Shueh
Keller Williams Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 17, 2012
Thank you for your question:

You have received some excellent responses below.

We are located in California and I see that you are located in Florida. This is an issue that is governed by State law.

In California I would recommend that you contact the agent that represented you on the purchase and ask the agent who represented you when your deposit will be returned to you.

If the answer that you receive from the agent is not satisfactory to you, then contact the Broker of Record of the company that agent works for.

If the answer of the broker of record is not satisfactory to you, then contact an Attorney who has a great deal of experience with Real Estate Law in Florida.

It is very likely that you signed provisions that require mediation and if mediatiion fails then binding arbitration. Ask your Attorney about initiating those steps for you.

In most cases this issue will be resolved to your satisfaction by the agent who represents your interests and the agent who represents the interests of the seller, or by their brokers of record.

However if they fail to resolve this issue to your satisfaction in a timely manner (72 hours or less) then I recommend that you consult the Real estate Attorney about the appropriate legal action to take.. .

Thank you,
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
American Realty
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Fax: (408)269-3597
Email Address: charlesbutterfieldbkr@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Do you have an agent you are working with?

Anyway, call the title company holding the escrow and talk to the title officer handling this account. The escrow officer should provide you with the instructions.

Good luck!
Web Reference: http://talisrealestate.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
This is a no-brainer for your agent and the escrow company that is holding your deposit. Is there more to your story that makes it more complicated than we think it is?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
"A few months ago" is a long time for us in CA.

Call the Escrwo Company or your Realtor and Demand the Mony not Request.

NMLS 327086
Web Reference: http://onewallstreet.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Hello, I see you are from Florida and I am not familiar with real estate law there. Here in my area, the escrow has up to 30 days to return your deposit once a demand is made. The agent who submitted your offer should help you submit the necessary paperwork.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
As the others have already noted, it should not be difficult to get your deposit returned to you considering that the home was already sold to another buyer. Contact your real estate agent, and the title company and title officer to arrange for a return of the deposit.

I guess I'm wondering (as are my colleagues) how it came to be that the title company was holding an earnest money deposit for two separate buyers on the same property?

Work with the agent and title company, and this should be cleared up immediately. Good luck!

Grace Morioka, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
Hi Lamsohot,
Firstly, as per rules (atleast in CA) Escrow can only hold ONE Deposit at a time. If your Deposit was in, then they CANNOT Sell the Property to someone else before they release and return your deposit, before accepting another one! So this is a bit shocking to read. You also need to find out WHICH deposit was in first/ yours or another Buyers.....a visit to the Title Co. for written info would be good!
You should speak with your Realtor, but also Consult Legal Counsel, as this could be a big thing!
All the Best,
Nina Daruwalla
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
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