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John Rowe

Early Release of Real Estate Deposits: A Warning


In these tougher times we have noticed vendors asking for early release of deposits before actual settlement has taken place.  If you have purchased a property and paid a deposit on the unconditional date, we would recommend you think twice  before agreeing (and don’t) to any request to release your deposit before settlement.

When a deposit is paid, the real estate agent is required to hold it for 10 days.  Vendors often ask agents to release the deposit early to use it as a deposit on another house or to clear some debts etc.  The agent can do this provided the purchaser consents.

Be very wary of agreeing to the release because the transaction may not settle (especially in today’s environment!).  If the transaction does not settle and the vendor has already spent the deposit, you will have no security and your deposit may be gone forever.

Ensuring that the deposit is held by the real estate agent until settlement is the wise thing to do, especially where there is a mortgage on the title.  If there is a mortgage, be aware that the deposit might be needed to settle the vendor’s mortgage debt. If released early and spent in other ways, the vendor might not be able to discharge the mortgage.

Always be very wary of any request to release a deposit early.

John Rowe
signed
John Rowe
Director
Business Accounting Services
© Gilligan Rowe & Associates LP

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Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide only a summary of the issues associated with the topics covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive nor to provide specific advice. No person should act in reliance on any statement contained within this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. If you require any further information or advice on any matter covered within this article, please contact the author.
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Thanks John, You have been an excellent person and firm to deal with over the last ten years. Kerrie and I have really appreciated your advice. - Andrew and Kerrie - Brisbane, August 2018
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Gilligan Rowe and Associates is a chartered accounting firm specialising in property, asset planning, legal structures, taxation and compliance.

We help new, small and medium property investors become long-term successful investors through our education programmes and property portfolio planning advice. With our deep knowledge and experience, we have assisted hundreds of clients build wealth through property investment.

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