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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33756
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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Im a real estate agent. I sent my clients Inspection Repair

Customer Question

Im a real estate agent. I sent my clients Inspection Repair Request to the sellers agent 1 day late. (my Fault) There are a lot of concerns with the property and the seller is refusing to fix because I was late. My client wants to back out. I believe they can lose their earnest deposit correct? But can they be forced to purchase the home? Im in Maryland.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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I believe they can lose their earnest deposit correct? But can they be forced to purchase the home?

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This depends on what the actual contract states the seller's recourse is in the event of a default. But if this is like most standard real estate purchase contracts with the standard clauses, then the seller has several options. They can sue the buyer for "specific performance", which is where they try to force the sale to go through by having a judge order it. They can sue the buyer for any damages that they have incurred if they sell the house to someone else for less than agreed on. Or they could accept the deposit money as liquidated damages and release the buyer from the contract.

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Suing the buyer for specific performance doesn't happen very often because the seller has to hire an attorney, file suit, and then it can take a year before it ever gets to court. The house is tied up all that time and there is no guarantee as to outcome.

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Suing the buyer for damages after a sale to someone else also is very rare simply because most sellers don't want to bother after selling their house with hiring the attorney and taking a year out of their lives suing.

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So by far the most common option is to just keep the deposit money as damages and release the buyer from the contract.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a licensed Realtor for over 11 years...

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thanks

Barrister

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