April 18, 2024


Mad about real estate

Getting Your Deposit Back on a House You Don’t Buy

With the decline in our real estate market, many people have been deciding not to go through with the purchase of a house or condo that they previously committed to buy. Property values have been plummeting so rapidly that frequently the value of a house is substantially lower by the closing date than it was when the purchase price was agreed upon. Rather than grossly overpay for a home, many people have been deciding not to go through with their purchase.

Factors Influencing a Buyer to Back Out

Declining property values aren’t the only reason buyers choose to back out of a contract for a new home. Sometimes, other circumstances out of their control force them to reconsider their decision. Some of these factors include:

· Inability to obtain financing for the home

· The seller fails to uphold his end of the contract

· You discover structural problems with the home or condo that were not noticed in the initial inspection

Getting your Deposit Back

Many people assume that they will forfeit their deposit if they back out of the contract. However, this is not always the case. Considering the fact that many deposits can be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is worth consulting an experienced property rights attorney to see if you can get your money back.

The Federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act requires land developers of condo or housing developments to present the buyer with an extensive property report before the contract is signed. The compliance laws for this act are very complex, and frequently property reports provided by the developer are not comprehensive enough to meet the standards of the law. An experienced attorney can help you go through this document to see if it provides you with a way to win your real estate deposit dispute.

You may also be able to recover your deposit if the homeowner or developer has:

· Made any material changes in the Declaration of Condominium

· Listed the deposit transaction as security

· Made material misstatements or omissions in relation to the development or its construction status

· Breached the terms of the contract

It is a good idea to require the seller to keep your deposit in an escrow account until the sale is finalized. This will greatly facilitate your ability to recover your money should a dispute arise. If the money is in an escrow account, the seller will not be able to access the funds until all of the stipulations of the contract are met. If your deposit is not in an escrow account, the seller may be able to spend a portion of the money before you actually close on the home, which would complicate your recovery process.