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What your buyer can do to get her earnest money back after termination

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03/24/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff

My buyer gave the seller a timely, written notice that she’s terminating the contract under the termination option in Paragraph 23 of the One to Four Family Residential (Resale) contract. The seller is upset and won’t sign the TAR Release of Earnest Money form. What can my buyer do to get her earnest money?

Under the provisions of Paragraph 18 of the contract, your client could make a written demand to the escrow agent that the earnest money be released. As long as the seller doesn’t object in writing to that disbursement within 15 days after the escrow agent provides a copy of your client’s demand to the seller, the escrow agent may release the funds to your client. Following these steps for disbursement releases the escrow agent from liability related to the disbursement.

If the seller does make a written objection to the disbursement, or his own written demand for the earnest money, the buyer will have written evidence to substantiate the seller’s wrongful refusal to release the earnest money. This might make it easier for the buyer to recover the liquidated damages stated in Paragraph 18:

  • Damages
  • The earnest money
  • Reasonable attorney fees
  • All costs of suit.

Although the amount of earnest money involved in any given transaction may not be substantial, a party who wrongfully fails or refuses to sign a release could end up liable for more than just the amount of the earnest money held by the escrow agent.

Read more legal Q&As on texasrealestate.com.

Categories: Legal
Tags: legal faq, earnest money, terminate contract

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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