Lake Forest, IL asked in Real Estate Law for Illinois

Q: Can I get my earnest money refunded?

I bought a house in the second week of March and the sellers and I agreed to close on May 13. Now the sellers are wanting to extend the close to June 15 because they can’t find a home to buy or rent and are using the Coronavirus pandemic as a reason not to close in May. Can I cancel the deal and get my earnest money refunded.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Robert Shipley
Robert Shipley
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: The Answer to your question is dependent upon the terms of the contract. That should be reviewed to determine what options are available when there is non-performance by the seller. Also what provisions, if any, which specifically relate to the current COVID environment. It would be best to consult with a lawyer.

Steve McCann
Steve McCann
Answered
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: It is likely you can terminate the contract, but the likelihood of termination/full earnest money refund is dependent on the specific terms of the contract and the reasonableness of the seller. As such, I recommend going over the terms of your contract with your attorney. If you do not yet have an attorney, now is a good time to get one, because many of us represent home buyers for a relatively minimal flat fee, so it is best to get an attorney involved as early as possible to maximize value.

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