“What was the deposit for if he felt he could back out and get the money back? “
I know here locally most persons will accept a temporary deposit as a sign of genuine interest. Also as a means to have the seller hold off other potential buyers temporarily so you can: A)Make up your mind Make sure the vehicle is sound and C) get a chance to get any private loans finalized.
Most of the times its a “gentleman’s agreement” (yes some people feel that your word is worth something) that you will get the “deposit” back should you change your mind. However if you purchase it then he/she already has something tangible in their hand until all things are agreed upon. If you feel the “gentlemen’s agreement” isn’t a comfortable avenue then negotiate something that satisfies both your and their interests. Nothing sucks worse then finding that perfect thing just to have the seller let someone walk away with it. Now you got the loan, time wasted in paper work and with some banks the onset of trying to get the paper work to change with the next new perfect thing. Praying that the values, percentages etc will be the same.