The Problem. When the purchase and sale of a house falls through, the buyer and seller may find themselves embroiled in an unexpected legal battle over the earnest money. Disputes over financing, inspections, short sales and so on, are common. For the parties, it’s frustrating, expensive, stressful, and time-consuming! And, until now, there was no simple, inexpensive and efficient way to resolve those disputes. The parties either compromised or went to court. Once a lawsuit is filed, both parties must hire attorneys and very quickly the attorney’s fees exceed the amount of the earnest money. Nobody wins (except the attorneys)!


The Solution. I have a solution to the earnest money blues. I am now offering arbitration services for earnest money disputes for a flat fee of $500! Wouldn’t the parties rather have an attorney with over 30 years of experience in real estate law decide which party is entitled to the earnest money than a judge with little or no background in real estate? And, if the amount is $5,000 or less, then the arbitration hearing is conducted like small claims court – attorneys are not allowed. For disputes involving more than $5,000, the parties may, but are not required to, be represented by attorneys.


To request arbitration services, email Doug Tingvall at


Click below for Forms:

Arbitration Agreement for Earnest money of $5,000 or less

Arbitration Agreement for Earnest money over $5,000

Instructions to Transfer Earnest Money for Arbitration