All About Earnest Money

All About Earnest Money

Spring is in the air. You are shopping the housing market and you find the home of your dreams. You decide to make an offer and your realtor lets you know that you need to submit an earnest money deposit with the offer.  What’s an earnest money deposit, you may ask? Let’s talk about it.

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Earnest money, in a nutshell, lets the seller know that you are a serious buyer. Sellers are much more hesitant about accepting a contract without an earnest money deposit because if the buyer decides to back out at the last minute they don’t have as much to lose. Let me give you an example: Buyers who put down an earnest money deposit are basically telling the seller, “I now have some skin in the game. I want your house and I am willing to write a $1,000 check to prove it.” If the contract falls through because the buyer backs out at the last minute, the seller gets to keep the earnest money. Buyers will find that it is hard to get a contract accepted without putting any earnest money down.

Does the Earnest Money deposit count towards the down payment?

Yes, it does! Earnest money is not extra money buyers pay to sellers to get their contract accepted. It counts towards the house when the contract moves to closing by counting towards the down payment.

Does Earnest Money have to be actual money?

No, it does not. Though cash is definitely the most common form of earnest money, it can technically be considered anything of value. If a buyer wants to place his ski boat down as earnest money, he is free to do so as long as the seller feels like said ski boat is something of value. The same could be said for a motorcycle, a car, etc.

Do I have to submit an Earnest Money deposit to buy a home?

Technically no, but you will find it much harder to get an offer accepted without one. It is not impossible, and there are situations that will allow you to forgo an earnest money deposit, but generally that will be a much tougher situation to get what you want. If there are multiple offers on a home that you want, without earnest money your chances are slim to none.

If you have any more questions regarding earnest money or anything real estate related at all, give us a call at 844-735-6225 and we will assist you any way we can. If you are looking to buy or sell a home, take advantage of our rebate program! If you go through us, we will give you 25% of your side of the commission back as a rebate at closing. It costs you nothing! No strings attached and no fine print.  Give us a call to find out more.

Ed Fox

Ed Fox

Ed Fox works closely with partnership stakeholders and product leaders on business strategic planning, as Director of Technology. Ed leads the product and technology teams, directing operations while working with clients to ensure a successful development process and, when appropriate, integration with existing platforms. Ed’s specialty is aligning technology vision and strategy with product and business direction, and converting strategic plans into platforms that can grow in the market.