Originally Posted by boatsail
I'm in real estate and I can tell you for fact that for deposit to be released it needs to be signed off by both parties.
Okay, so Terra Nova was maybe a little harsh, but...
While this may be true, if you have a properly written contract
it really doesn't matter. Here's a personal example from a couple of years ago:
Looking to buy a townhouse. Signed a contract
that was contingent on inspection
and review of the CC&Rs. There were a couple of things in the CC&Rs that were a surprise to me, and not acceptable. I told the broker
that and said I wanted my deposit back.
The sellers broker
balked. Wanted to know what the problem was. Struck me as being argumentative in the way she asked, and I refuse to get into that sort of pissing contest. So I sent a letter that said, "The contract to purchase
is contingent on a review of the CC&Rs being acceptable to me, the buyer. I have reviewed the CC&Rs and do not find them acceptable. Therefore I am cancelling the purchase
, effective immediately, and require my deposit to be returned to me as per the contract."
Broker called and, again, wanted to get into a discussion of it. I simply said that the purchase had been cancelled and that if my deposit was not returned within the time specified in the contract, I would be filing a lawsuit. The check was in the mail that afternoon.
Is it possible that they could have held up the return of my deposit? Sure. I suppose so. Then I would have sued and they would have lost
. Guaranteed, 100%, they would have lost--and they knew it. Not only would they have had to return the deposit, plus interest, but they also would have had to pay for court costs, my time and inconvenience, and I would have gone after some punitive damages on top of that. Yeah, having a sister who is a lawyer makes that easier for me, but anyone could do the same.
So, only an idiot of a seller will refuse to return the deposit according to the conditions set forth in the contract. If the contract properly protects the buyer's deposit, then you really have nothing to worry about.