Am I entitled to my earnest money to be returned

Last year we put our house up for sale so that we
could purchase a house that was getting built. The
builders had us sign a contract but it was a contract
for a construction loan type purchase and it was
actually a purchase as long as our house would sell.
After 1 year on the market our house never sold and
the builders company fell apart and no one wants to
take responsibility for allowing us to sign the wrong
contract or give us our 5000 earnest money back. I
want to know if we have a case worth pursuing

Asked on October 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, no one has to "take responsibility for allowing us to sign the wrong contract": the makes each person responsible for the contracts that he or she signs. You are expected (that is, required) to read what you sign before you sign it; and if you sign it, the law presumes that you understood and agreed to what you signed. Therefore, if you sign the "the wrong" contract, you  nonetheless become bound or obligated under it; in signing a contract, you put yourself under its power. No one else has any responsibility for what you signed--only you do; if you did not understand what you were given to sign, you could have refused to sign it until you had  chance to review it with an attorney; if you disageed with it, you could have refused to sign entirely. But since you did sign, it is the contract or agreement that you signed that controls what happens; you can only get your deposit back if that agreement lets you get it back under these circumstances.

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