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Old 12-15-2009, 07:55 PM
 
21 posts, read 29,813 times
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I put a full price contract on a residence in Myrtle B and my offer came back with changes (not much, but different from what I offered)
now the seller demands to keep my deposit because I declined their counter offer that would pay buyer's agent's commission because the list price wasn't enough. Sellers not buyers pay commissions, what the heck! Any one else have this problem? I'm told SC rules against buyers because they use the caveat emptor in dispersing the earnest money deposit.

Contract Law 101 states that a contract offer not accepted as submitted is the same as a declined offer. What is the matter with this picture. Can they keep my money. Who makes these earnest money decisions for under $7500?

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Old 12-16-2009, 08:01 AM
 
Location: A place Santa seldon visits
82 posts, read 342,700 times
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I'm not sure about SC, but in my state the ernest money is held onto by the listing broker in a special bank account, the seller can cry all they want, but the broker will have to eventually give you back your ernest money.

If your offer came back with changes, a counter offer, you do not in my state have to take it, you can now back out.

If you made an offer to purchase at full list price, and made no other changes, or demands like I want the dishwasher that wasn't included,
lets say they were asking $50.000, and nothing in the home was included, and you made them a $50.000 CASH offer, they still can counter your offer for more, you can then back out, but the listing agent, and even maybe your agent may be due a sales commish from the seller, because they procured a willing and able buyer.

Again this is in my state.

Call the listing broker and see what he has to say, ask him when you can expect your ernest money, that's if what your saying is correct, and that you didn't agree to their counter offer, and now want to back out!
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:51 AM
 
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Thanks, frozen. No, we didn't accept counter offer and did not sign anything after the contract and they asked for more $'s after we gave full price. It is a short sale though and they are difficult.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:21 PM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 13,366,954 times
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What were the changes they made? If you did not accept the changes and initial them, then is it not a ratified contract and you get the earnest money back. I hope you used a buyers agent, and they are the ones that should be working on this. I'm a Realtor and I see people all the time using the sellers agent (name on the sign), don't do that people! Get someone representing you, not the seller. The seller still pays the commission. Now in some cases the buyer does pay but that's only if it was agreed upon when you went under contract with the buyers agent. The earnest money should have been held at your real estate company (buyers agent) or the attorney, which is even better. Now in a short sale, things do get more complicated but the way you described it, you still don't have an acceptable contract because you didn't initial the changes, so the earnest money should go back to you. As far as commission, in a short sale the Realtor sometimes does not get paid at all or their commission is reduced because the bank says so. It stinks and most agents really dislike doing them as you can imagine. You work for months and not get paid or very little. I don't know anyone that has a job like that and thinks it's ok.

If the changes are small, why do you want to back out anyway? You put in an offer, so obviously wanted the house and small changes are not a big deal. I see major changes all the time and people still come to an agreement. If you don't want the property, didn't initial the changes and they still won't give you the money then you will have to appeal it. Tell your agent and their job is to help you not make it hard on you. Good luck.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:49 PM
 
Location: A place Santa seldon visits
82 posts, read 342,700 times
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Ching I think their playing games with you to see if you will fork up anymore money, = Sad.

I too am a Broker and can't give you legal advise!

But I can say if it was me I would play back with them, I would ask the broker for copies of all paperwork from this deal, I would also ask him for the name and title of the person from the bank, I would tell him the State needs it all!

Rapture nailed it, allways use a buyers agent!
Frozen

Last edited by Frozen; 12-16-2009 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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Thanks Frozen and Rapture. I have a buyer's agent. I think that is who "*****ed" the deal when adding the commission to our contract after the short sale didn't provide funds! Yes, it is a bad deal for agents, but money is supposed to come from seller's side. We're weren't told why the money was added but we did find out. Seller won't sign release, I don't know if seller knows this money was added to contract. I heard a magistrate ruled for a certain amount of money and someone else if it is less. Can anyone tell me how that works? Do I need a lawyer? Who is a good RE lawyer there? Our decline of counter offer was the last document signed. The lender came in too late for our loan to close, and then things went from bad to worse for getting extension and time for inspections. My husband doesn't trust these people and said no to deal. We don't know what governing body distributes our earnest money if sellers put a hold on it, but do know the seller's agent received the funds.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:25 PM
 
Location: NJ/SC
4,286 posts, read 13,366,954 times
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The whole thing sounds crazy! I have never seen an agent add the commission w/o the buyers consent. It can't hold up unless you received it and not signed it and I assume you read everything you signed. I also never heard of the seller holding the earnest money unless it is pre-construction. If the loan came in too late then the contract might not be valid anyway but I'm not sure. You didn't ask for an extension and they said ok? I never had this happen so I can't advise on that one. I have worked with a couple attorneys here but mostly to do closings not with all of these problems, so I'm not sure if they would be good at helping you. Maybe someone else on here can suggest someone. After you get this cleared up, you may want to get a new Realtor. You may also want to consider steering clear of short sales, they are a nightmare a lot of the time.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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Yes, but since we didn't accept the Addendum (extra money) they have rolled us back to the dates of the original contract and talking of specific performance, which expires in a few days and something about material and non-material breech????
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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Something doesn't sound right. Once your seller submitted a counter offer your original offer was null and void. Your deposit should not have been accepted (check not cashed) without the seller accepting your original offer.
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:04 PM
 
21 posts, read 29,813 times
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Well, it is happening as we speak. They are demanding our earnest money. All this goes against everything I've ever been taught about contract law and I was just wondering if anyone else finds these actions reprehensible. We're advised to get a SC attorney or the case goes before a magistrate and we lose our earnest money by paying for lawyer and court expenses. It is better to buy them off than risk being sued! Neat little trick I think. I am also told SC is a caveat emptor state and we lose. Do persons need to have a lawyer to go before magistrate in SC or is this kind of an informal 'hanging.'
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