|With the written authorization of all parties to the transaction, a third party, such as an attorney or title insurance company, may be used to close the transaction. These have become known as 'escrow closings.' In these closings all parties to the transaction must authorize the broker to transfer the earnest money deposit to the third party closing agent, and the buyer and seller must agree on what terms any additional cost for such closing will be paid, i.e. buyer and seller split the fee or one or the other pays the fee. Certain financing options may designate which party pays this fee. If the sale 'closes,' the earnest money is applied to the total price of the property. |
If the offer is not accepted or if the seller refuses to complete the transaction or if, for any reason that is not your fault as buyer, the sale is not completed, the earnest money should be refunded to you. If, however, the buyer, after acceptance of the offer, does not complete the transaction, the earnest money may be forfeited. In addition the seller may be able to seek other possible damages from you.
Disputes can arise between the seller and buyer over the return or forfeiture of earnest money deposits when a transaction is not consummated. You should be aware, as either a buyer or seller, that brokers are required to handle the funds as directed by the Nebraska Real Estate License Acts and Rules and Regulations. In general, brokers will require a mutual release before releasing the earnest money deposit if there is a dispute.
At the time you prepare an Offer to Purchase, the licensee must prepare a written estimate of the closing costs you will be expected to pay. This estimate will include a listing of the categories of costs and an estimate of those costs that are reasonably available at that time. Remember, these are estimates and could change.
As soon as possible, after preparation of the offer and you signing it, the Offer to Purchase will be presented to the seller. If the seller accepts the offer, the contract has become binding on both parties. A rejection, or a modification in the form of a counter-offerfrom the seller, makes the contract null and void. However, should the buyer accept, in writing, the modifications that were made by the seller, the contract is considered valid. An estimate of closing costs will also be made at the time any counter-offer from the seller is presented to you. After acceptance of the offer by both parties, the contract is legally binding on both.
After acceptance, the buyer will be expected to arrange for the financing set forth in the contract. The licensee with whom you are working may help you arrange financing, if not previously arranged.