Home Deposits may be Refunded Depending on Your Contract

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Home Deposits may be Refunded Depending on Your Contract

I’m back with you today to discuss home deposits and whether or not you can get your money back after you have made an offer. Our guest today is real estate attorney, Sam Saad, President of Paradise Coast Title and Escrow.

This is a question we hear time and time again, and will refer this one to Sam who can lend a hand in explaining. As a practicing attorney, Sam wants you to know that these instructions are not considered legal advice, and that if you do seek legal counsel, then you should consult an attorney who can explain your rights to you while under contract.

It Depends on the Type of Contract you Signed

Going forward, Sam says that a deposit is refundable in certain cases depending on what type of contract you signed.

     – If you signed the NABOR Contract, which is standard in Naples and Collier County, then your deposit is only refundable if you comply with the necessary inspection and finance provisions. These provisions are laid out very thoroughly and meticulously in the contract. 

For example, if you have gone through the inspection criteria and the seller refuses to comply with your requests, then you would get your deposit back. 

If the seller accepts a credit towards the property or goes through with the requisite repairs, then you would not receive your deposit back.

     – If you signed the FAR/BAR Contract, then you may also get your deposit back. However, you still need to comply with the inspection and finance provisions within the contract. You can find more information about this contract here: https://www.floridarealtors.org/LegalCenter/HotTopics/Florida-Realtor-Florida-Bar-contracts.cfm

     – The FAR/BAR As-Is Contract is very popular in the Naples area. This type of contract is most often associated with distressed home sales, and within the document there is a provision that allows the buyer a 15 day free-look:

Essentially, this allows you to sign the contract, put down your deposit, and after that you may conduct the necessary inspections. Within the 15 days you have the right to back out of the contract (for any reason whatsoever) and you will receive your deposit back – no questions asked.

The NABOR Contract that was mentioned earlier also has an As-Is addendum, which makes it a very safe contract for buyers.

You Need to Know your Options

Placing a deposit on a home may seem like an irrevocable act, this is not always the case, be sure to understand the contract that you’re signing and are aware of your options within that documentation. As always, consult an attorney for representation if you have any sort of doubt as to what rights are afforded to you.

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