How To Get Earnest Money Back From A Title Company

Dec 20, 2022

How To Get Earnest Money Back From A Title Company

Based on the real estate contract, a buyer may have a few ways to back out of a deal and still get their earnest money back from the title company. Most contracts are in favor of the homebuyer, but this may only be true in some cases. Learn more on how to get earnest money back from a title company with Boundary Title & Escrow.

What is Earnest Money 

Buying a house is one of the most significant investments a person will make in their lifetime. With an investment this big, you want to ensure you are well-educated on the many aspects of purchasing a home. One of the things you will need right at the beginning of the process is Earnest Money. Earnest Money is a deposit from a buyer paid at or immediately after having an offer accepted for a home to indicate that they are serious about following through with the transaction. Earnest money is often referred to as a “good faith” deposit. In most cases, the earnest money is nonrefundable. Still, there are certain circumstances where you can get your earnest money back from the title company. 

Real Estate Contract Issues 

Some things can go wrong when buying a home. A buyer has to put down earnest money to show they’re serious about the purchase. A buyer needs to be assured they can get the earnest money back should something not go as planned. A house could be appraised for a lower cost than what it’s listed for, and the seller doesn’t come down on the price.

Another example is if the seller terminated the contract for any reason illegally. In that case, buyers are entitled to get their earnest money back. One last example is if the bank denies the buyer a loan, the buyer is entitled to get their earnest money back with no penalty.  

Covering Your Earnest Money  

Because unexpected things can happen in the buying process, it is a good idea to ensure you are covered. Write it into the contract to ensure you get your earnest money back in these unfortunate events. Write out the contingencies in which you can get your earnest money back. 

How to Get Earnest Money Back From A Title Company

The steps for getting your earnest money back is:

  1. Contact the Seller in Writing 
  2. Sign Release Forms 
  3. Contact the Escrow Company 

Not many steps are involved, but each is very important in getting your earnest money back. Communicating with the seller in writing is crucial, so there is a record of everything discussed. If you need help with this, your agent should be able to assist you. Signing the release forms is also important because it shows that you and the seller are on the same page. Contacting the escrow company is the last and final step in getting your earnest money back and the, most important. The title company must be on the same page. They will send documents, and once they are processed, you should get your earnest money back within a few days. 

Earnest Escrow With Boundary Title

Getting caught up in the home-buying experience is easy because it is such a significant investment. However, when it comes explicitly to earnest money, it is wise to know the circumstances when you could get it back. This ensures you will be in a good situation should something fall through with the house. 


This material is provided as a courtesy and for educational purposes only.  Please consult your title professional for specific information regarding your situation.