Shopping for a home is a bit like dating. Buyers, like daters, are looking for that perfect match. But just because you fall in love doesn’t mean they’ll love you back. Getting down the aisle to happily ever after can take some effort. And you may have to kiss a few frogs in search of the ideal mate.

So what happens when you need to jilt that potential lover – or seller — before your first real encounter? It’s not the love connection you thought it could be and you’ve changed your mind?

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By Lydia Blair
Special Contributor

Business conflicts always seem to revolve around money. It’s no surprise that some of the worst disputes we see at title companies are over earnest money: Who wants it. Who is entitled to it. Who thinks they’re entitled to it. Etcetera. It can get uglier than avocado appliances and shag carpet.

When a transaction fails to close, any earnest money that was deposited with the title company must be disbursed to someone. The provisions for this are in the standard contract put out by TREC – the Texas Real Estate Commission. What happens to the earnest money is spelled out clearly. Of course, that doesn’t stop people from fighting over it anyway.

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I’ll be honest: I was reading the doom& gloom real estate report in the Wall Street Journal last night, and gearing up to post something for you because, honestly, I always want to tell you the truth about the market. I know financing is 100% of our problem with the double dip — oh and I just heard that FDIC chair Sheila Bair is out effective July 1.

But I just could not write it. And I’m glad.

This morning I talk to Jeff Mitchell and David Griffin, to learn that 960 Kessler Parkway went under contract within one day of listing, and I think, where is this damn depressing data coming from? Further: Jeff tells me that of the last four homes he has sold, they all sold within four to five days of listing. I talk to my banker on Friday. She lives in Merriman Park Estates where prices have actually gone up! She bought her home in 2005 and it’s worth today more than it was then. Highland Park, she tells me, is where values are down.

The real estate market is a huge head-scratcher.

So get this: Jeff and David list Kessler on April 22, 2011. The next day, Pete Ryan from Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s brings in a client, who plops down a contract later that afternoon pretty close to asking ($995,000). Today is the last day of the option period and my guess is that by the time you are reading this, Kessler will be sold on paper and Todd will have had 24 hours to recoup from the Schlegel wedding and then start packing. He paid over $799,000 for the property in 2006.

I’m telling you, there’s no rest for the wicked and that includes ME! And BTW, Kessler Park real estate is on fire!