If I put $2500 down on a home but the owner has now backed out of the deal, does she have to give me the money back?

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If I put $2500 down on a home but the owner has now backed out of the deal, does she have to give me the money back?

Asked on October 20, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, she does if the seller pulls out of a deal, even if she has the best reasons in the world for doing so, she needs to return your deposit or earnest money. Only if you had pulled out of the deal would she be entitled to keep it for your breach of contract the agreement to buy however, she cannot breach, or pull out, and keep your money. If she will not return it voluntarily, you could sue for its return suing in small claims court, as your own attorney "pro se" is a good option given the amount at stake.


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