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Provided the agreement has a provision regarding a contingency inspection period and that period had not past. Usually the inspection terms are in paragraph 10 of the standard real estate
purchase and sale agreement and the default is to give the buyer 10 days to inspect and back out of the deal within that time period. If this is the case, the seller must return the earnest money.
There is a box that buyer and seller can check to waive the inspection period. If this is the case, a buyer can not rely on this section to have earnest money returned. However, if there was an agreement to provide certain documents and that did not occur, this is a valid argument for a breach of contract and the buyer can sue in small claims to seek return of the earnest money paid.
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