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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Realtor Inexperienced, Can I Get My Earnest Money Back

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: South Carolina

    Hi everyone, this is my first posting on this forum, so I appreciate any help you guys can give me.

    I signed a contract to purchase and house and gave out my earnest money. Later on, the loan was approved, but I am out of the country so I needed a POA. I signed a POA and sent it to my realtor before I left the country and she said it was ok. Turns out, it wasn't. I'm trying to get out of the contract now and get my earnest money back.

    Here's what is going on:

    The sellers won't give the earnest money back because the loan is basically approved and just needs to be closed on. This means that I am not complying with the lender in order to close the loan.

    I think I should get the earnest money back because:

    1) I paid the earnest money before I found out from my realtor (she didn't know) that the property wasn't FHA approved. I had to get a loan another via home equity in order to get this condo.

    2) My realtor looked at my POA before I left the country and did not tell me that in SC, it had to meet certain requirements. I got a general POA and in SC the POA has to specifically be for real estate.

    3) My realtor said I could get my earnest money back if I decided to back out. She explicitly said it and now it's not happening.

    Could I get my earnest money back or bring about some small legal action against my realty company if I can't?

    I appreciate any help that you guys are able to provide me with. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,749

    Default Re: Realtor Inexperienced, Can I Get My Earnest Money Back

    What makes you think you have any grounds to rescind the contract. First, the contract is between you and the seller, NOT THE AGENT. The fact that your realtor can't figure out what an acceptable POA is means nothing to the seller.

    Point 1 appears moot. Unless your contract specifically had a contigency for a particular type of funding, the fact that you WERE able to get funding (albeit at less than the best terms) probably doesn't allow you to invoke the financing contingency.

    Point 2 has no merit as stated above. The ineffective POA doesn't get you out of anything. You're expected to resolve it either by executing an acceptable POA or showing up to close personally.

    Point 3 again has no merit. Any representation made by your real estate agent again has no bearing on the seller OR your purchase contract. Real estate contracts must be in writing and specifiaclly spell out what can happen.

    The question is other than making excuses, what is your real reason for BREACHING the contract? You appear all set to close and you have a lame excuse for not doing so. Since you appear to have no valid way out of the contract, it almost certainly provides for retaining the earnest money as liquidated damages. If you can show the damage didn't occur, you might get SOME of that back, but it will take a lawyer rather than random guesswork.

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