So, I called my lawyer and asked if she thought it was a good idea to offer the back-out buyer half the earnest money, in exchange for releasing half back to me without going to small claims court. I heard that this is sometimes done and it would make up for the loss on the townhome deposit, which I had put down due to her conditions to move out in less than 3 weeks time. The real estate attorney said to go ahead and have the real estate agents draw up a letter to that effect and she would review it. So, I called my realtor and told her that’s what we were doing.
Why Earnest Money Is A Fraud
I get a call back later that this offer that I intend to make is not correct because the real estate agents are saying there is wording in the contract forms now that give half the earnest money to the real estate firms should a buyer default. I was like:”What?! What good is earnest money if it isn’t protecting the seller?” She was adamant that they got half the earnest money, which of course, is unrealistic in the extreme. I said to her:”Give it all back, then.” From what I understand, small claims courts will divide the money anyways. If the seller gets half, and I get half (which goes to the realtor), I end up with zero and a whole lot of trouble for nothing. If my option is to give it all back or take her to court for the realtors benefits, she gets 100% of it back.
My Liability Is Their Gain?!
Think about it folks, these real estate agents believe that because they put wording in a contract giving them a piece of the seller’s pie, that we’ll go to court for them and make ourselves liable for them! I said:”What possible incentive can I have to go after money that isn’t even mine? And, if you think that I am going to take on all the liability while you take the money, it doesn’t work that way! Give it ALL back.”
Shame, Shame, Shame!
She was stunned, and kept saying:”Oh my, oh my! But, she’s in the wrong!” And, I said I didn’t care because either way it was a loss to me and it wasn’t right to put me in that position as a seller. The earnest money was supposed to protect me. What did they do to wriggle their way into that money? Absolutely nothing! Yet, they think I’m going to court to collect what amounts to their money for them? I say, let the real estate agents sue the buyer if they think it’s their money. I’ll just stay out of it and next time I will make sure this clause is not in the contract when I sign. She said it was a standard clause now. PURE GREED on their part, I’m sorry, but true. Are there no honest people out there anymore!!! It’s downright SHAMEFUL.
Now, I’m supposedly giving my house away at the price I set for it. It went up by $9,000 based on comparables in my neighborhood. It’s not really a surprise to me because I am in a prime location. I picked the home because of its location. It is close to two major highways, but far enough away I don’t have to listen to the noise. It has three major supermarkets within two blocks of my home. They built around me so much, I now have Duke Integrative Medicine across the street from me, and several office parks that weren’t there before. And the buzz is that there is yet another mall going up very close by. How do I know? Let’s just say that a friend got an offer on their home based on those plans. That’s on top of the major revamping of North Hills Mall and the upcoming new mall on Falls of Neuse nearby too. I am very close to Crabtree Mall too and only twenty minutes from the airport. Did I mention they are making the Museum of Art a world class Museum by 2009? I am about a mile away from it. Really, you’d have to be an idiot not to buy my house, and I guess that lady was. It is priced to sell and it is in a PRIME location. I just want a place I can be flexible enough to leave in two years since I’m planning on leaving the area if I don’t have a job keeping me here. My master’s is about over and I want to get a job doing something interesting while I continue to freelance write on the side. Any investors out there interested? I actually plan on staying in the area, just moving to a rental so that I can be sure that I can leave when my time in Raleigh is up without dealing with the stress of selling the home then. I want to be able to get up and go in less than two years, if needed, and not fuss with selling real estate then. I also want to cash out the home value while I can still enjoy some of the benefits with my daughter who will graduate soon and need money for college. Then, if nothing keeps me here, like a great job, then, I’ll be free to move.
But, the value of my home is shooting up and I’m beginning to wonder if I shouldn’t hold on just a little longer. The foreclosure rate in Raleigh went down by 7% and things are looking brighter here. There are plenty of construction people out of work, which is actually a good thing for me. What would have cost me thousands before to remodel in my home (like new flooring) I can get for a whole lot less now. Home selling is very stressful with people coming in and out all the time and I work from home. It’s really not a doable thing for me. I need this to either sell fast or take it off the market while I still have a business left.