The All Important Deposit When Buying

When you buy a home, the Offer to Purchase allows for you to submit a deposit in one of 3 ways:

--with the Offer,
--within 24 hours from the offer being accepted or
--as otherwise described.
Let's say your Offer calls for you to give a deposit within 24 hours of acceptance. Other Offer provisions state:

  • 1. "Upon Acceptance shall mean that the Buyer is required to deliver the deposit...within 24 hours of the acceptance of this Agreement", and
  • 2. "Time shall in all respects be of the essence..."

These clauses obligate the buyer to submit the deposit on time. Otherwise you have not met the terms of the Offer, which is known as a breach of contract. The consequence of this violation is that the Offer is no longer binding on the Sellers and Buyer may be liable for damages.

The deposit is cashed and usually held in the Listing Brokerage Real Estate Trust Account. If the Deposit is not received, the Brokerage has an obligation to advise the Sellers and their lawyer without delay.

The Sellers' lawyer will--with their clients--decide on the action for dealing with the breach and whether to pursue the buyers for losses that may result.

Opportunity to Redeem

The sellers may give the buyers an opportunity to redeem, particularly if the deposit did not clear the bank due to an error. The Seller would agree to extend the Offer in writing.

 Clearly if, as a buyer, your deposit is not forthcoming, a breach of contract exists.

--The REALTOR has a legal obligation to report this to the Sellers and their lawyer without delay.
--The Seller can have the Offer declared void and not binding on them, or agree to extend the Offer;
--The Buyer may be ordered by the Court to pay any damages for losses incurred by the Sellers. 

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