My parents have decided not to purchase a home they signed a contract on, but the realtor didn't pla

Question: My parents are relocating back from Florida to continue retirement and have put an offer in on a home in St. Joseph, Michigan. I do not feel their real estate agent has properly represented them in that she never advised them of putting contingencies that will allow them "an out" on their buy/sell agreement. They have since decided that the house is just not going to work for them and their realtor is telling them that the $18,000 that they put down as earnest money is not refundable. What rights do they have in order to try to get their money back? Misrepresentation by their realtor? I have had lots of real estate transactions and have never had a realtor NOT advise me to put "an out" in the contract.

Answer: Unfortunately, the Realtor may be correct. However, I would still recommend that your parents retain an attorney. Our real estate and litigation attorneys can help. Many people don't realize it, but in most real estate transactions, the agent represents the Seller, even though it is the Buyer they are driving around to look at homes. Accordingly, the agent owes only very limited duties to the buyer. Please pass on my best wishes to your parents. I encourage them to get local counsel who may be able to look at the paperwork and find a reason to not close and get their money back.

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