Real Estate: Florida/Breach of contract

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Question
How does a seller begin the mediation process as called for in contract when Buyer walks away prior to closing? Contract signed June 22; closing Aug. 1. Seller paid for WHO inspection, foundation inspection, and survey. WDO report found past/present termites in garage (not in home itself), repairs were made and treatment performed at Seller's expense (roughly $5,000). Once completed, Buyer informs escrow company he wants out of contract due to him feeling uncomfortable knowing there were once termites even though the repairs were made and the garage was treated.  The house was off the market nearly two months while under contract. Contract allows for "Seller to retain all deposits and agreed to be paid as liquidated damages or to seek specific performance through mediation". The $1,300 Buyer deposited in escrow won't cover the expenses incurred by Seller. My question, how does Seller begin the mediation process?

Answer
Peggy,

It sounds like you are the seller. If so, sorry for your situation.  

First and foremost...I am not an attorney.  

To begin mediation you need to refuse to give back the escrow deposit and tell the other party you are also suing for specific performance. Where is the escrow deposit held? If with a title company they will give the money to the court and let you and the other party fight it out.  

If the escrow is held by a real estate broker an escrow dispute will be filed with FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission).

Where you represented by an real estate agent? If yes, they should be advising you as well how to file for mediation.  Otherwise, you really need to get a real estate attorney. Sit down with them, show them the contract and let an attorney advise you if you have a good case.  

Remember, whomever is holding the deposit can not release it without your approval.

If you want to fight this out yourself just tell whomever is holding the escrow deposit you want go to court to not only keep the deposit but also seek specific performance.

I hope this help.

Regards,
Steve Schiffer
Olde Town Brokers, Inc.

Real Estate: Florida

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Steve Schiffer

Expertise

Questions about buying, selling, renting or investing in residential and small commercial real estate.

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Licensed real estate agent since 2003

Organizations
Orlando Regional Real Estate Associate (ORRA)

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WKMG Channel 6

Education/Credentials
GRI

Awards and Honors
Voted Orlando Magazine Hot Realtor in '06 & '07

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