Profile picture for Shenanigans612

How long does it take for earnest money to be returned?

Our contract on a house was canceled during the inspection contingency period. Both sellers and I signed the paperwork to return our deposit to us. That was last Tuesday. We still haven't received our deposit back. Should I be concerned? Or does it normally take a while to get the check in the mail? For what it's worth the deposit was actually cashed and put into an escrow account..so it's not a matter of sending back a cancelled check.

I'm wondering if I should bug the broker or just wait. I don't need the money right this second, so waiting isn't a big deal..but everywhere I've read has implied it takes a matter of days.
  • November 05 2013 - US
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

 
 

Answers (6)

If the agent representing you doesn't have an answer from the Title Company as to how long it will take, then ask for the contact information of the Title Co and call the escrow officer yourself.  

They could be protecting themselves from scams but it will be dependent on how you paid; if it was a cashier's check or wire transfer then there shouldn't be a holding period but if it's a personal check then the wait will be based on your bank's holding period since most banks don't release funds for large checks for quite a few days.

In my experience with returning good faith funds, the check was in the mail from the escrow company to the buyer within one week and I was involved in making sure my clients got their money back.
  • November 05 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

It can vary, both parties must agree and sign off on it.
  • November 05 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Have your agent call the  Title company and get the status of the return of your earnest money.
  • November 05 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

There are Brokers in my area who will not return escrow until 30 days after the check has cleared.

Speak with your agent and have them inquire as to the status of your deposit.
  • November 05 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for wetdawgs
Don't be surprised if it takes several weeks.  Please ask your agent.
  • November 05 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for Outer Banks N C
Since the seller and buyer both signed the release it should be soon depending how long ago the check was deposited. There is a RE scam that goes like this:

Buyer makes offer and writes big earnest money check and gives to his agent to deposit. Once deposited the buyer changes his mind and demands his check back so agent writes refund check from agents escrow account. Buyer deposits check and is never seen again, the original earnest money check given to the agent has not yet cleared and bounces leaving the agent out the money he refunded.

So the agent holding the earnest money will wait until the check clears before refunding the earnest money. If they deposited it more than 10-12 days ago you should call them and ask.


tim
  • November 05 2013
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.