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Foreclosure/escrow return on a fannie mae REO


My wife and I put $5300.00 in earnest money in escrow on a fannie Mae REO property.They wanted 10%, after the home inspection we decided to withdrawl our offer.To much damage too justify the asking price..Keeping the time line as stipulated in our purchase agreement (10 days)to notify the selling agent of things disaproved. We were sent the paperwork from our realtor(withdrawl letter)signed it and returned to our agent who the fowarded itit to the sellers agent. Two weeks had passed and no responce from anyone about our escrow money.we contacted the sellers attorney about this and their response was they will refer this to their REO dept. Can they keep our earnest money deposit?Or are we entitled to get this back. Also if they will not return the earnest money can we resubmit another lower offer with the same earnest monet deposit.The same day they received our with drawl notice they put the home back on the market with a lower price.What are our options? The house is located in Conway South Carolina.Thank you

I really cannot answer a question or give advise on a contract I am not a party to. The best advise  can give you is to follow the chain of command. Talk to your agent. The agent's boss is the Broker. After that you can talk to your attorney. In most cases earnest money is returned in 1-2 weeks. I would have your agent call the listing broker. Most cases, the listing broker holds the earnest money. If your agent does not get an answer right away, call on a 3 way line with you on the line. An agent cannot make negative comments about another agent or broker.... but you can share your thoughts. Give your agent a chance to verify all the paperwork is in order.

I had one deal I worked on where the buyer lost the earnest money. They followed steps from one of those online investor sites. Those things are bad news. Their advice should be against the law, but they claim freedom of speech. After months of delays caused by the buyer and a few crazy emails..... the seller called off the deal, sent notice and asked for a release and earnest money. He had good reasons. We warned the buyer they were working a scam and gave them time to back out. Of course there was a process for the seller to keep the earnest money... the long and short of the situation was, the buyer did not file a written NOTICE on time, nor ever followed up by filing a late notice. There is a standard Notice form to file when the buyer wants to call off the deal. Also file a cancellation/mutual release form which will direct the listing broker what to do with the earnest money. Without the form, the listing broker has their hands tied. All of these have to be in order. In my case the buyer failed to file any of the necessary forms.  


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Dennis Herman


I can answer questions on Real Estate such as question on writing an Offer to Purchase. What can go wrong after an offer is written? What is Buyer Agency and what will it do for me? What is a foreclosure? What is the difference between a foreclosure, a bank owned property and a short sale? What is the best way to locate a property? What steps can be taken to avoid foreclosure? How do Real Estate Agents get paid? How can I quickly build equity in a home? How do I view homes? What types of homes will have the best prices? How do I choose an agent? What types of financing are available?


Residential and commercial real estate. New home purchases. Buyer Agency. First time home buyers. Foreclosures, bank owned properties, estate sales and short sales.

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