Real Estate Law
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Hello Lynne: Thanks for using Just Answer. That is a truly sad story. Please tell me a little bit more about the deal that you sign. For example, the purchase agreement itself will have a clause that specifies what the right of the seller is if the buyer refuses to close. I'm sure you have reviewed that paragraph, so just tell me basically whether or not you agree to accept the earnest money deposit as liquidated damages, or if the purchase agreement retained your right to sue for general damages. Next, what was the cost of removing the pool, and how much is the earnest money deposit? With that additional information I think I can tell you where you stand.
The Release that they presented is standard procedure. If you accept the check and sign the release then you have no further options. Obviously, I don't know the details of what all went down; however, on the surface it appears to me that if you spent more, or lowered the value of your property more than what the earnest money check will cover, then you have a right of suing for damages, unless you waive that right somewhere in the purchase agreement. You may also have a right to sue your broker (s) for negligence in not protecting you against losses. Your broker should have anticipated this event and protected you by requiring the buyers to put up sufficient earnest money to cover you if they did not close. The broker too can be sued for negligence or malpractice for failing to do so.
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