Long Beach, CA asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Real Estate Law for California

Q: Once the cancelation documents are signed, how much time does the Real Estate Agent have to file for arbitration?

I used the inspection contingency to cancel the purchase of a home, and the buyer decided not to sign my cancelation and create their own to go into arbitration. The buyer's Agent has not responding to my Agent telephone calls and emails since I signed their cancelation on January 12, 2022. They are holding my earnest money, therefore I am not able to purchase another home at this time. I would like to know what I can do to expedite this process and get my money back. Thank you.

2 Lawyer Answers
David H. Relkin
David H. Relkin
  • Arbitration & Mediation Lawyer
  • Manhasset, NY

A: I think you mean that the seller refused to sign and accept your cancellation of the contract.

Arbitration is exclusively a creature of contract. Unless there is a signed agreement in which you agree to arbitrate any dispute, you would not be required to arbitrate. Similarly, the time in which to commence an arbitration is governed by the provisions generally contained in the agreement. If none are stated, then the time within which to commence the arbitration would likely be governed by the Statute of Limitations, which in New York is six years.

Jarrett Nila Buchanan
Jarrett Nila Buchanan
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Has your agent sent escrow a request for return of your deposit? By law escrow has to return your deposit unless the other party contests. If the parties disagree on the return of the deposit, either party can request arbitration or mediation, per the RPA. Escrow will hold the funds until the matter is resolved. Your agent should be doing all of this for you ASAP. If your agent isn't helping you, contact their broker of record.

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