Buying or Selling a Home/deposit cashed


My question. I was asked to make a deposit on a home I was finalizing a lease purchase. I the buyer was sent an email from the seller with the outline to the lease Purchase agreement and made the deposit once I thought the email was confirmation enough. Upon meeting with the seller to finalize the formal signatures he said he sold it and is keeping the deposit to help him move. He states he will pay me back the money after he sells the property to another buyer who will close quicker. I want to place a lien or something on the property to prevent the sale from going through if he has one but also think is has spent the deposit. He claims to own the home outright.

Hey, Michael.

In many states, such as here in California, emails are now acceptable in courts of law, so you might have a good case against the Seller.

Notwithstanding that, I believe you definitely have a good case against the seller keeping your deposit "to help him move." No, no, no, no, no, no, and no. I believe that is illegal in all 50 states.

Virtually all attorneys provide a 30-60 minute free consultation. I would take advantage of that and get an attorney to help you.

This kind of illegal action often has interesting damages associated with it, such as "treble damages" or punitive damages, so I say go after him.

Good luck, Michael.


Buying or Selling a Home

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Russel Ray


Through home inspections, I provide an education about real estate. I'm one of those rare home inspectors who has been involved in real estate in many different capacities: as a Realtor (in Texas), as a property investor/flipper, as a teacher, and as a marketing expert (for Realtors and home inspectors). I believe that my experience as a Realtor and property investor provides me with a different viewpoint about home inspections in that I work for my Clients, but when there are other people involved in helping my Clients, then I firmly believe in helping them, too. That includes Realtors (both the seller's and the buyer's), repair professionals (e.g., plumbers, electricians, etc.). If I can get all the players (seller, seller's Realtor, buyer, buyer's Realtor, and repair professionals) playing in the same sandbox together to accomplish goals as a TEAM (Together Everyone Accomplishes More), then I believe I have succeeded in my job as a home inspector. My profession is, in my opinion, much more than simply documenting the condition of a property and then take the money and run. I am also a rare breed in that I don't believe that one inspection fits the needs of all Clients, and I have led the industry in understanding that fact. For example, the goals of a property investor are far different than the goals of someone buying a property to live in. The goals of a seller (a pre-listing inspection) are far different than the goals of a buyer (a pre-purchase inspection). To that end, I offer 14 different types of inspections, e.g., STANDARD, LIST, RENTER, BASIC, MAINTENANCE, SPOT, and more. I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt to all professionals in whatever industry they represent until they prove me wrong.


Over 42 years in all aspects of real estate--building homes, renovating homes, inspecting homes, Realtor.

National Association of Certified Home Inspector, Better Business Bureau of San Diego

Graduate of Texas A&M University; College Station, Texas

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