In medieval days, a father would send an entire herd of cattle as a not-too-subtle hint that his daughter be married into a certain family. Nowadays, when you’ve decided a particular home is “the one” for you, you can, thankfully, leave the cattle at home. You are asked, however, to deposit a small percentage of the sales price of the home you want to purchase–it’s called “earnest money.”
Your earnest money is a good faith deposit that accompanies your offer. It is usually a personal check, but a short-term promissory note is sometimes acceptable. A sizeable earnest money deposit indicates financial strength and assures the seller of your commitment to purchase the property.
Once your offer is accepted, your earnest money check is cashed and deposited with the title company, attorney or with the listing broker. Your funds are held in a separate trust account reserved only for earnest money deposits. In most cases, everything proceeds smoothly to the closing day when the total amount of your earnest money is credited to you as a portion of your down payment.
Your earnest money is totally refundable if the offer is not accepted or if some condition in the contract is not satisfied. For example, your earnest money is refundable if financing is not approved with the terms specified in the contract.
If you’re thinking of buying a home, give me a call. It would be a pleasure to assist you in finding “the one” that you’d like to call “home.” My knowledge of today’s real estate market will assist you in making wise decisions in every step of your transaction.