CanI re-list my property if the would-be-buyer hasnot contacted me but has paid a good faith deposit?

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CanI re-list my property if the would-be-buyer hasnot contacted me but has paid a good faith deposit?

I have a problem as far as my mobile home. I put the mobile home in the paper for sale and had a lady come look at it. It was agreed upon at that time that the following Monday we would go get the title done and exchange monies. She then called the owner of the park to get approved and he told her not to do the title or anything until the end of the month. Why I don’t know. So she called me and told me what he said and I told her that is not what we agreed on. I let it be known in no uncertain terms that I wanted to make sure that everything was done and over with come the first of the month when I move. I did not want to be stuck with 2 property payments. She agreed and came over on the Saturday and gave me a deposit of $200. She said that Monday morning she would call and we could meet and get the title done. Well it has now been a week and a half and I have not heard from her. I have called and left messages but have not received a reply. This is why I wanted everything done. So now if she changes her mind or doesn’t contact me I’m stuck re-listing this mobile home again. If she does not answer my calls and do what we agreed on (which is already a week and a half past time), can I just re-list the the mobile home and sell to someone else?

Asked on February 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If someone violates a material or important part  of an agreement, the other party will generally not be bound by the agreement any longer. In a case like this, if someone does not come to close a real estate or home transaction by the agreed-upon time, the seller can keep the deposit--the deposit's purpose is to hold the property *until* the agreed upon date, not after it; if the deal doesn't close as scheduled, the deposit if forfeited--and relist the property or look for other buyers. Should she contact you again and want to go through with the sale, you may as a practical measure credit the deposit to her, rather than fight with a buyer--but that would be your choice. She has forfeited the deposit if she has not closed by the agreed upon time.


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