a man signs a cheque

Usually, you will make a deposit with your offer to purchase or after your offer is accepted. That deposit is usually held in your real estate licensee’s brokerage trust account. The brokerage holds the deposit as stakeholder. This means they are holding it as a neutral party, and not on behalf of the buyer or seller.

  • Note: If your contract contains subject clauses in your favour and you do not remove those clauses, you will not automatically get your deposit back. Both you and the seller will have to sign a separate release form except where you are exercising your right of rescission.

    Learn More about the Home Buyer Rescission Period

If a release is required, and one of the parties does not agree to sign it, you will have to obtain legal advice, as the brokerage cannot release the deposit unless you and the seller have agreed to do so. Should there be no agreement between you and the seller, the brokerage may request to pay the funds to the BC Supreme Court to have a judge rule on where the deposit is to go.

Unless the contract specifically states that any interest earned on a deposit will be payable to either the seller or the buyer, interest is payable to the Real Estate Foundation of B.C.

If a deposit is to be held by someone other than a real estate brokerage, you should obtain independent legal advice to ensure there is no concern about either how the deposit is to be held or the terms upon which it may be released.