Should I give them their deposit back? - Posted by Ryan B (KS)

Posted by Ryan B (KS) on August 08, 2007 at 13:37:38:

being a jerk. Sometimes I wonder if people even read the posts before responding…

Should I give them their deposit back? - Posted by Ryan B (KS)

Posted by Ryan B (KS) on August 07, 2007 at 09:03:52:

Yesterday I showed a lady a MH that I’ve got in inventory. She said she really wanted it and I we agreed on a price, down payment, etc. I told her that I want to check her credit, and that she needs to get approved by the PM before I can sell the home to her. Plus she needed to go the the bank to get the down payment.

I’ve got two other people interested in the home, and I told her that if she gave me $100 deposit I’d hold it for her. She had that cash on her and signed a purchase agreement, and gave me that $100. I explained to her that if she doesn’t pass the credit check or if the PM doesn’t approve her, I would refund the deposit.

So this morning I got a message from her saying that she found another place and she wants her deposit back. I’m hesitant to give it to her since she’s breaking our deal for no real reason. IMO, if she wanted to shop around more, she shouldn’t have signed the purchase agreement.

But another part of me says that it didn’t really hurt me in any way since she reneged so quickly - no buyers turned away or anything like that. So maybe I should just go with the path of least resistence and give her the $100 back.

Any opinions?

Re: Should I give them their deposit back? - Posted by jb (IN)

Posted by jb (IN) on August 07, 2007 at 18:23:41:

I’d look at how much time I had invested in showing her the home, filling out the paperwork, etc. Figure out what that time was worth to me (say $20 or so). Then explain to her when you give back the rest that you are not required to return any of it but that you told your ‘put higher power name here’ that you thought it was the right thing to do. She gets a gentle reminder about written agreements and you get enough cash to buy lunch.

Just my opinion.


Re: Should I give them their deposit back? - Posted by Ruben (KCKS)

Posted by Ruben (KCKS) on August 07, 2007 at 12:38:56:


We talked the other day about my deal that fell through and I mentioned to you that I should have taken a deposit. My situation was one where I had invested time and stopped marketing efforts for the deal that I now have to restart. In that case I wish I would have taken a deposit because I would not have given it back given those same circumstances.

Now in a situation such as yours I personally would give the deposit back if I did not lose or potentially lose a sale to another person and it was only one day but that is me. Like Jeff said it will come back to you somewhere down the road. Maybe the middle ground would be to return a portion of it stressing that you would not normally do so but since they gave you such quick notice you will return x percent back to them. Good luck either way and I hope to see you Friday. If you did not get the voice mail about the meeting call me.

Ruben D. Flores

816 918-9041

Re: Should I give them their deposit back? - Posted by Norm

Posted by Norm on August 07, 2007 at 10:26:39:

Give it back to her. It’s just good business to give it back. You do not know who she knows and she may know someone that may be interested in buying from you at a later date. Man, it’s only $100 and I’m sure she needs it more than you or I do. Do the right thing. Rather than hold her to some technicality.

Great answer! - Posted by Lin (NC)

Posted by Lin (NC) on August 10, 2007 at 18:25:01:

This conveys the point to the flaking buyer gently and compensates you for your time invested. Perfect.


On doing the right thing - Posted by Ryan B (KS)

Posted by Ryan B (KS) on August 07, 2007 at 11:05:28:

By “do the right thing” I assume that you mean, “do the moral thing”. I guess I feel its more than a technicality. You don’t sign a contract w/ someone and turn around and break the contract. Thats not right.

I was willing and able to hold up my end of the bargain. Why should I let her off the hook on her end?

Re: On doing the right thing - Posted by Jeff-oh

Posted by Jeff-oh on August 07, 2007 at 11:32:41:

On doing “the right thing” can also mean doing the “Legal Thing” here in Ohio all contracts have a 72 hour back out right. May want to check what your state says.

Also doing the “right thing” means doing the “right Business thing”. Your Rep for being a fair and straight guy to deal with will be worth many times more than that $100.00

Not sure if you intended it or not but you ask the question. Norm gives you an answer then is seams you jump all over him to defend his reply to you because it did not support what you wanted to hear.

I think you are feeling that deep down you know you should give the money back, but it ticks you off that she gave her word then burns you because she found a better deal… that My word is good why can’t “the buyer’s” word be good.

All I can tell you is that we all been there it is frustrating and we want to get even.

But take a deap breath, give the money back and move on. Did you expend any real time or effort following up on this deal? Did you turn away anyone. As you said in 1st post, no to each question. Give the money back and move on.

BTW you feelings of anoyance with her going back on a deal are valid, we all have the same gut reaction. Time to remember this is a people service business. As you give the money back let her know that you are not obligated to but since she let you know so quickly… etc etc. etc. Then make sure she knows how easy you are to work with and if she has any friends to give your card to…

You’ll get the $100 back ten fold.

Jeff (I have posted your same question before myself)

whoa, misinterpretation - Posted by Ryan B (KS)

Posted by Ryan B (KS) on August 07, 2007 at 13:06:36:

Jeff -

You assumed a little too much about my emotional state. I’m not really annoyed at all about the situation. I’m not trying to get even. In fact, I don’t really care one way or another. If I don’t sell it to her, i’ll sell it to someone else. No big deal.

Also, I certainly didn’t mean to ‘jump all over’ anyone. Hopefully the tone of my post wouldn’t have suggested that. I was simply offering a counter-point.

In sum: I’m not EMOTIONALLY invested in this situation one way or another. I don’t particularly care whether I give the $100 back or keep it. I think that a case could be made for either, thats why I posted the question in the first place.

Re: On doing the right thing - Posted by Michael(KCMO)

Posted by Michael(KCMO) on August 07, 2007 at 11:54:18:

Keep it. It was a deposit to hold the home. If it were a higher amount, I would (and have) give a portion back. If we give deposits back “just because”, then we’re shooting ourselves in the foot by even taking deposits and holding homes in the first place.

My 2 cents,

Re: On doing the right thing - Posted by Ryan (NC)

Posted by Ryan (NC) on August 07, 2007 at 16:33:46:

I love ya Michael, but I must disagree… If no damage and no real holding time is experienced it’s time to give it back.

If you’ve run their credit, taken the unit off market, turned away other buyers, incurred cost, or if they painted your living room pepto pink then that should be taken out of the deposit IMHO. If you agree to hold it for a week and a week comes and goes, keep it… If they call you the next day I chalk it up to buyer’s remorse and give it back choosing to work with people that want my help and will be happy with what we’ve done for years to come.

Best wishes,
Ryan Needler

Meh, I guess I’ll give it back - Posted by Ryan B (KS)

Posted by Ryan B (KS) on August 08, 2007 at 05:57:11:

Like I said before, I dont’ really care that much one way or another about the money per se. That $100 isn’t going to have much effect on my life. In the final analysis, I can’t think of a really good reason to keep the money, DESPITE the fact that by rights I think I CAN keep it.

Thanks for the insight.

Ryan B (KS)

Re: Meh, I guess I’ll give it back - Posted by Karen

Posted by Karen on August 08, 2007 at 13:22:28:

How much would 7 windows cost for your mobile home? By not giving her the money back you may lose money in the long run. Just give it back to her and stop being a jerk.

Re: Meh, I guess I’ll give it back - Posted by Berno

Posted by Berno on August 09, 2007 at 13:06:53:

Using that logic, if someone said they were going to break your windows if you didn’t give them $30 from your pocket, it would make sense to hand over the cash. It would be cheaper to give them $30 than to replace the windows.

Hmm, I think I may have found a new line of work…shaking down owners with good windows!

…and Karen, name calling doesn’t exactly make your point any more valid.