Special offer

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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hi Debbie -- the buyer will initially decide and a seller will either accept, counter or reject the terms of the offer.  I find the amount of the earnest money deposit is based on custom of the area.  In my market, it is typically 3% although some buyers who want to stand out show a higher percentage.  Given our prices, that can be quite significant.  

This is just another example of the importance of "local" in real estate.  

Apr 08, 2015 02:26 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Here in Florida, the buyer will make the offer with a sum in writing.  The seller can then accept or counter offer for a different amount.

Apr 08, 2015 05:00 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

It is a negotiated item between buyer and seller.

Apr 08, 2015 01:58 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Usually the buyer offers what they want to and the seller can ask for more if they feel it is needed.

Apr 08, 2015 07:39 AM
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Conroe/Willis, TX

That is between the buyer and seller and can be negotiated.

Apr 08, 2015 06:40 AM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

IMO the amount of Earnest money adds to determine how strong a contract is. A contract with a full price cash offer but only $1,000 earnest money is a bit scary but the same offer with $10,000 held by the listing brokers escrow is quite a bit more comfortable in my book.

Apr 08, 2015 05:46 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Exactly the same person who dictates the final price.

Apr 08, 2015 05:10 AM
Bill Dandridge
MKB, Realtors - Roanoke, VA
GREEN, ABR, GRI, EcoBroker

The seller and the seller's agent will decide on an appropriate amount by signing an OTP. If you feel it is too small, counter a different amount.

Here in North Carolina, both due diligence fees and earnest money deposits are usually offered at presentation of OTP. The due diligence fee is much smaller because that is the money that the buyer does not get back if the deal goes South, but the combination of the two fees typically amount to about one percent of the purchase price.

Apr 08, 2015 04:26 AM
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
Third Generation Full-Time Realtor® 520 471-6900

Here in Arizona, the buyer is free to offer whatever they want.  I try NOT to ever tell the client what to offer, however they ask me what is "normal" or standard I explain what the earnest money is, why we offer it, and in the end, the more the buyer offers the "stronger" the offer is often times perceived by the seller.   Course, as most things, it is open to counter and negotation.  Great question.

Apr 08, 2015 04:15 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY


As each client has different monies available it would be the buyer as to what they have available and explained it could be higher.

Apr 08, 2015 03:21 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I would say it's always the seller - they have to sign off on the offer which the EMD is a part of.  With assistance from their agent of course.

Apr 08, 2015 02:53 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR

The buyer unless otherwise stated..

Apr 08, 2015 02:49 AM
Cindy Davis
SD Home Source Realty - San Diego, CA

Well - first the buyer's agent helps the buyer decide what is appropriate. Then, the listing agent will either accept it or counter.  The norm in my city is 1-3% but I've seen deposits as low as $1,000 and as high as 5%.

Apr 08, 2015 01:41 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

In our market, we frequently see a minimum requirement. A larger deposit can sometimes give the buyer an advantage when multiple contract competition is anticipated.

Apr 08, 2015 01:39 AM
Evelyn M Epperson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Johns Creek, GA
A Tradition Of [Excellence, Trust & Service]

It depends some listing have the earnest money amount in the private remarks.  

I let the buyer decide.

Apr 15, 2015 04:03 AM
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

In my area the seller sets an amount, but the buyer may, or may not, have that amount. So it could be any amount the buyer is willing to put up, and that the seller will accept. 

I recently closed a transaction where we used a promissory note for earnest money. The seller took it, and we closed the deal with the earnest money due on the closing date and the seller concessions taking care of that amount of the earnest money. Slick deal on my part. 

Apr 08, 2015 04:18 PM
Eric Valente
Calabasas, CA

Here it is usually 3% on regular resales and REOs have different rules the buyer should follow. If buyer wants to deposit more, I'd never say No.

Apr 08, 2015 02:38 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

So many different approaches. It is becoming common in my area to see an offer with no earnest money. I think the agents are responsible for that.

Apr 08, 2015 12:01 PM