Can I get my earnest money back?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can I get my earnest money back?

I contacted my insurance company as the
house I wanted to purchase has live knob
and tube wiring in the upstairs. They
told me no and wrote me a letter
accordingly. I submitted it to my
realtor and backed out of my contract.
The sellers will not release the monies
stating they found 2 companies willing
to insure the home. Can I get my earnest
money back per the contingency in the
contract? Thank you in advance

Asked on August 17, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The answer to your question is to be found in the contingency you mention: a contract to buy a house is enforced according to its plain terms and you are locked into it unless there is a clause or contingency letting you out. If this is a typical "inspection contingency" allowing the buyer out if the seller refuses to fix (or provide a mutually agreed credit or price reduction) for an issue found on inspection, then you could use it to terminate the contract and get your money back. Review the contingency to see its applicability to this situation.

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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