Miami real estate news and information

When Realtors Don’t Know the Law

Escrow Dispute?  It can make  for a long weekend, when buyer and seller  haggle over who is entitled to the escrow deposit … Each thinking they are entitled to it.  

escrow dispute

 Shaky ground, when the  “co-operating”  Broker/Realtor doesn’t grasp what’s written within the four corners of the page . 

Our buyers were excited about owning a piece of sunny South Florida… and inching toward their closing date.    But… the property that they were under contract to buy,  failed to appraise.    The appraisal came in  1/3 below the contract price (in part as a result of  a recent short sale transaction)  making it impossible for their lender to provide  the requisite financing…. 

The seller categorically refused to re-negotiate the contract price.   

After having exhausted every plausible solution, our buyer (rightfully) opted to withdraw from the transaction, cancelling the contract .  

Interestingly enough, the  “Listing Agent/Owner”  of this waterfront property took the stand that if the buyer were to cancel,  the listing agent/owner would be entitled to retain the escrow deposit. 

Wearing two hats … 1)Realtor  2) Owner/Seller  ….   The Listing Agent and Seller were one and the same …  and as such, refused to sign the cancellation of contract  (simultaneously declaring that the escrow deposit was the seller’s to keep).

Time for a refresher course guys!    Even if the commitment period expires, there is an “UNLESS”  provision in the contract (and this is why it’s a good idea for buyers and sellers to have competent legal advise ) …   

The buyer and seller  each had attorneys.  

The buyer’s attorney was quick to point out (with verbiage taken directly from the contract!):   ” The financing contingency is waived and Seller will be afforded to retain the deposits if the transaction does not close by the closing date unless 1) the property appraises below the purchase price and either the parties cannot agree on a new purchase price or Buyer elects not to proceed…”

And… the escrow deposit is now safely back in the hands of our buyers …       

When you are ready to contemplate  buying, selling, building, or  leasing  property anywhere in South Florida (or elsewhere)   hire a a real estate agent you’re confident in … and rely on recommendations for top notch lenders, attorneys and other service providers.    Call us the next time you are ready to buy or sell…    The Restivo Team @ EWM Realtors  305 793-1365  (cell)  or contact us here .

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