How to get the return of our earnest money?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to get the return of our earnest money?

We were in contract to build a new home and left some earnest money.

Construction on the home has not been started and our original contract had the

wrong county listed. Upon receiving the new contracts, we decided that the new

home is not our best option. Is the initial contract void because of the incorrect

address and should our money be returned?

Asked on September 24, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An incorrect address does not void a contract so long as it is otherwise clear (e.g. from other documents or correspondence or discussions) what property you were buying: so long as both parties in fact agreed as to the property, the incorrect address on the contract is viewed as a not material, or important, error, and does not void or invalidate the agreement--essentially, it is a typo to be corrected, is all. Deciding that a property is "not your best option" is not valid grounds to rescind or terminate the contract and get your money back--you can't simply change your mind once you are in a contract. Based on what you write, you do not appear to have grounds to recover your earnest money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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