Beware when canceling real estate contract

Don't get stuck paying surprise $500 fee

DEAR BENNY: My husband and I signed a contract in November and put $1,000 down. The real estate agent put financing as "n/a" (not applicable) because we were preapproved by our bank. He sent us to a bank and the loan was approved, with a great interest rate and no points. Then problems started.

The underwriter said a road maintenance agreement was needed, which was not disclosed in contract. We told the other side we want out, and to give us our money back. The agent said an attorney was working on the road maintenance issue with 28 families.

We still have not gotten our deposit back, and the agent said if we pay the seller’s fee of $500 for the attorney doing the road maintenance agreement, they might release us from contract.

I filed a complaint with the Department of Real Estate because of the nondisclosure of road maintenance, and they said there is no violation. Now the home inspector is calling us wanting his money, and we have told him the agent still has it. We did sign a release of contract designating where the $1,000 should go, and when we called the agent he said the owners are still thinking about it. Do we have any options left, other than paying even more money for an attorney? This has been a nightmare. –Tom