Deter prospective homebuyers from running off with deposit

Seller learns shocker after agent refunds client's $20K

DEAR BENNY: I am selling my house and received two offers on the same day: The first offer came in first thing in the morning, and I made a counteroffer. Several hours later there was another offer. My agent informed both buyers’ agents of the competing offers and shortly after was informed by buyer’s agent No. 1 that his clients had accepted the counteroffer. I rejected offer No. 2, as required, and started packing.

Four days later, my agent informed me the buyers changed their minds and (here’s the kicker) the buyer’s agent returned the $20,000 earnest money deposit (EMD) to the buyers. It was at this point that I learned the out-of-state buyers did not have their checkbook with them while they were in town.