Deter prospective homebuyers from running off with deposit

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

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

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.They had made the initial offer and FedEx'd the EMD to their agent two days after accepting the counteroffer. For the two days following receipt of the EMD, the buyer's agent told my agent he would deliver the check and contract to her office but failed to do so. Of c...