The wrong way to handle a dispute
This weeks article is being written as a fellow Realtor, a friend of mine, lies in his hospital bed fighting for his life.Earlier this week, a managing broker in a real estate office in South Carolina was confronted by an irate buyer who was impatient about receiving his earnest money back from a deal that fell through. Unfortunately the seller had yet to sign a release for the earnest money, preventing the brokerage firm from releasing the money back to the buyer. I dont know all the details, but after several threats, the buyer come to the real estate office, confronted the managing broker and shot him in the abdomen.The buyer is an 88-year-old man, who, after shooting the managing broker, took himself outside and sat on the curb to wait for police.If you are in the middle of a dispute regarding a real estate deal, please know that your broker has to follow the laws of the real estate commission. Unless and until both parties agree in writing to what happens to the earnest money, a real estate broker is not allowed to turn the money over to anyone buyer or seller. The money remains in escrow. I know that these times are tough for all of us, but to shoot someone because they havent returned your earnest money is too extreme, especially when they are legally bound not to. And this occurred over earnest money in the amount of $1,000. If it can happen over $1000, it can happen over 10 times that number. The amount doesnt matter; the actions do. My heart and prayers go out to my friend and his family.Shannon Kyle, of S Kyle & Co., is co-chair of the Glenwood Springs Association of Realtors Public Relations Committee. She can be reached at (970) 379-7517.
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