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Realtor will not give back earnest money deposit?

After a messy home buying process(me buying a home) the loan fell through two weeks before closing,something no one expected or planned for being i was preapproved. Either way i was unable to purchase the home and gave an earnest money deposit with the offer.Upon receipt of the denial letter the sellers decided they wanted to keep $35 from my deposit to pay for the water being turned on.I contacted the water company and they said they don't charge for that and they are lying to you. Sine then they and their realtor have been more then slow in returning my check,it has been over a month. the realtor has my check now but says i need to bring her proof that there is no charge from the water company or she wont return my check.How can i have proof of something that doesn't exist!! can she legally do this? I'm in NJ thanks
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September 09 2013 - US
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Answers (5)

Call the agent's broker/manager and tell him about the situation. If that does not give you satisfaction, call the board of Realtors in your area and file a complaint. It should soon be resolved.
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September 10 2013
Well, spite has no place in a business transaction.

This is  now a legal matter - hire an attorney to demand the return of your deposit money..and ask for legal fees.

Any agent that pays for repairs to a home BEFORE there is a mortgage in place, and  all contingencies are satisfied....and before the closing is, at the very least,  lacking in judgement.
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September 09 2013
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Every thing on my end was done legally and in the proper time frame. The agent is angry because she put money out of her pocket to do repairs to the home that i asked for and she stated that in a email to my agent,so i think shes doing it out of spite.
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September 09 2013
Call you local association and find out what the rules are for earnest money.  They should be in your favor.  Contact the agent and quote the rules things should go better from that point on.
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September 09 2013
Hi Christine

where in NJ are you?
In my part of the states, we use attorneys so this would be in the hands of your attorney to figure out..

I will assume, based on what you said, that the seller's agent's company is holding the deposit. (?)
The agent has no right to decide how much to keep or return - it should be spelled out in your contract if they are allowed to hold you financially  responsible for any costs incurred if you are turned down for your mortgage.
it also should be spelled out that the deposit money is to be returned in the event you are denied a loan.

To the best of my understanding, if you are turned down for  a mortgage within the time frame in your contract - your deposit money should be returned in full....promptly.

Were you still within the time frame of your mortgage contingency date?
Since this is a legal question..........if you don't already have one - you might want  to check with a real estate attorney for clarification.

Good luck!
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September 09 2013
 
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