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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42303
Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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I own a piece of real estate in WY and I had a man that was

Customer Question

I own a piece of real estate in WY and I had a man that was interested in buying. After he saw pictures of the inside of the mobile home, and outside of the land, and I spoke with him on the phone telling him that the home had been closed up for 4 1/2 years and when it was, all of the appliances worked. He told me that he wanted to buy the property and to not let it go, as he would be in WY in 2 to 3 weeks. He sent $1000.00 earnest money for me not to sell to anyone else and it would go towards the price, which was $18,000.00. When he was on his way, he called and said that he would be here 4 days later. I made praparations for him to be here and get the land and home transferred into his name. He got here a day early, so we made extra arrangements to get him the keys and get the home opened so he could stay.
I own a business and had to take a day off in the middle of the week to go to the courthouse and get all of the paperwork taken care of. When I left the gentleman at the home, he said we would get it all worked out and that was the last I saw of him.
He said he called me the next morning and he did, but I was working and did not see the call until afternoon when I was trying to get all of the paperwork perfected for the courthouse. I then received a call from my husband, who told me that he had left. I was stunned, but called him. He was on his way back to his home and he said just send him his money back!
I spent a lot of time and cancelled work at my business, and turned electricity on, and drove to the location three times to get things settled.
I even had a potential buyer in the 3 week period that he held the property.
My question is, How much, if any of the earnest money do I have to return to him legally?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

I would not refund his money.It was a non refundable earnest money.He made a verbal offer to purchase and you were out your time and lost sale.Legally I cannot see that he has a leg to stand on, he sent this in good faith and abandoned the deal here.I would keep the money.Legally it appears he put this as good faith earnest money and then abandoned the deal and the funds.I imagine he has probably already written off the funds even though he told you to mail them to him.I would write him here claiming the $1k was nonrefundable earnest money and setting out you lost time and potential sale of property and that no refund is warranted here.That protects you against any claim you did not respond.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.