Hey, I gave my real estate agent a $5000 Earnest Money Deposit check… Where does that money go?
A basic and very obvious question that most first-time home buyers ask once their purchase contract gets accepted. An Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) is simply held by a third-party escrow company according to the terms of the executed purchase contract. For example, there may be a contingency period for appraisal, loan approval, property inspection or approval of HOA documents. In most cases, the Earnest Money held by the escrow company is credited towards the home buyer’s down payment and/or closing costs.
*It’s important to keep in mind that the EMD may actually be cashed at the time escrow is opened, so make sure your funds are from the proper sources.
- Earnest Money is submitted to an escrow company with the accepted purchase contract
- At the close of escrow, the EMD is credited towards the down payment and / or closing costs
- If there are no closing costs or down payment, the the EMD is refunded back to the buyer
Who Doesn’t Get Your Earnest Money:
- Selling Real Estate Agent – A conflict of interest
- Sellers – Too risky
- Buying Agent – They shouldn’t have your money in their account