We picked up a check for the full earnest money yesterday. It won't fully sink in until we deposit the check and see our balance increase accordingly. It was an "interesting" but brief exhange with Dean Smith, the "co-owner". After we signed the release statement and he handed us the check, I just briefly expressed our thanks for them returning the full amount. His response was not so much a response but a mild apoplectic pause in which he grimaced, nodded downward several times and made some guttural noises that may have been an attempt at a retort that his good conscience immediately shut down in the interest of self preservation.
Aeyong hit the nail on the head when she later said she thought he was upset by the cancellation because it would make him lose face at the company. While we were never given specific details, we did deduce that the company was primarily owned by an apparently very wealthy man/family. We know that the sales rep we dealt with is the granddaughter of said owner, and it was discussed during some of the meetings that the owner retained mineral rights for all the subdivision and other parcels of land he owns, which are apparently considerable.
We believe Mr Smith runs the day to day operations and is considered as the "co-owner" but it appears he's a minority owner and that final decisions rest in the hands of the real owner. Case in point is our earnest money. Based on his response yesterday, and every other time we've dealt with him, he's never inclined to refund or discount money. We strongly believe that the owner must have read our response and made the decision to fully refund our earnest money because of all the errors that were made by the granddaughter and Mr Smith.
I have a feeling that Mr Smith isn't accustomed to customers cancelling contracts when he screws up, and this situation has probably brought down his stock a few notches. Maybe we're reading too much into it, but I can safely say that he wasn't happy with us getting the money back, on that I have no doubt.