UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022
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My fiance and I are looking to buy a home in Florida and came a cross what looked to be a lovely new development. After putting the deposit down and signing the contract only a few days later family issues arose that will make buying this home too difficult for us right now. Talking to the sellers they agree to end the contract which has yet to be signed by them, however are telling us we wont get our deposit money back. What are my options? I’m afraid they are going to sign the contract and tell me that I’m SOL.
Asked on August 28, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
You do not have any right to your deposit back once you put the money down and sign the contract; once you did that, you showed your agreement to the contract and obligated yourself to it. Once that occurs, you can only get your deposit back if one or more of the following occured:
1) There is some term, clause or provision in the contract which would let you terminate the contract without penalty and recover your deposit, and you fully comply with all that provision's requirements.
2) The seller committed fraud, or intentionally lied about something material or important, to get you to sign; fraud provides grounds to void contracts.
3) The seller breached, or violated, some material or important contract provision.
Otherwise, the seller is entitled to your deposit if you walk away from the deal, and your family issues are not legal grounds to recover the deposit.
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