How many days does a real estate broker have to return the escrow after a deal falls through? Well, the practice or what transpires is there’s no particular time line. If a deal collapses, then the broker routinely obtains a escrow release. Many brokers don’t even hold the deposit but they ask both the buyer and the seller to sign a release that says who receives the deposit. So if the deal falls through because of financing and you’re within the time period for the buyer to get financing and they give notice that t hey did not obtain financing and they want their deposit back, they routinely make a demand upon whoever’s holding the escrow to return it.
The real estate brokerage would then prepare a form that authorizes the escrow money to be released to the buyer borrower, and ask that the seller sign it and the buyer sign it and the realtor sign it, all releasing any rights they have to the deposit. Until that is done, well the escrow does not get released. If you have a seller that won’t sign it, well it creates a problem. If they make a demand upon the deposit, well the deposit doesn’t get released and certainly the buyer gets frustrated as far as that’s concerned.
My suggestion is if you believe that a seller is not releasing your deposit after you have a good reason to cancel the contract, I advise the folks to file an action in Small Claims Court if the deposit’s less than $5,000, and ask the court to reward them their money back under the terms of the contract. There’s no set time period. The escrow agent and the broker are going to ask the parties to sign a release and if that doesn’t happen on a timely fashion, then I believe that a broker does have a time period, which I can’t give you, to submit this to the Florida Real Estate Commission as far as to whom they should release the money when there is a dispute.
I don’t have an answer as far as that’s concerned on how many days they have before they send it to the Florida Real Estate Commission and ask them to make a determination as to who they should release the money to. If you have any questions, you can give me a call at 727-847-2288.