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Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I had a short sale listed years ago for $64,000 and an investor buyer put down $64,000.  He mistakenly thought B of A would move faster.  They did not, he got tired of waiting and withdrew his offer.

Jan 20, 2015 10:57 AM
Dipti Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
On a team with Praful Thakkar

My jusband handles this.

May 30, 2018 10:12 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

3% which in California is the max you can take in deposit if things fall through and it is on the buyer.  

Jan 29, 2015 11:06 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Usually it is 3% here in CA. But if someone pays cash and does not care about contingencies, a large EMD would make the offer much stronger.

Jan 20, 2015 04:08 PM
Eric Valente
Calabasas, CA

We never had a buyer who would agree to give more than 3 % of transaction( typical for CA), and to tell you the truth, I don't see any benefits for buyers to pay more. 

Jan 20, 2015 03:30 PM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I've had a full price earnest money deposit for a $500,000 purchase of $500,000 and we closed in 7 days.

Jan 20, 2015 08:02 AM
Keith Whited
RE/MAX Gateway - Alexandria, VA

William - you sure got me beat on the percentage of price. My largest deposit was a number of years ago in a super overheated market where EVERYTHING received multiple offers. I had a client who wanted me to help him purchase a FSBO who was willing to pay 3%. I gave my lient my recommendatios for how to put together the best offer in a multiple contract situation. One of the topis we discussed was earnest money deposit. I explained that the larger the earnest money deposit the more likely the seller was to realize that you are a serious buyer. His response was, "Do you think $250,000 is enough?" (This was for a $410,000 purchace price ($10,100 over the sellers asking price). AS soon as I was able to catch my breath and pick my jaw up from the floor I told him I thought that would be sufficient. They DID get the house in spite of a couple offers at a higher price.

Jan 20, 2015 07:24 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671


Sep 11, 2019 11:14 PM
Ajay Pandya
e-Merge Real Estate - Columbus, OH
Realtor Ajay Pandya

10% once.

Jan 19, 2018 11:29 PM
LuxurySoCalRealty San Diego
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

$480,000 3%

Jan 11, 2016 07:46 PM
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Our average in my area is 2-3% of the purchase price. However, I had a buyer who really wanted a particular house. He offered full price, put up 6% deposit and made it non refundable after 12 days for inspections and appraisal. On a $600K purchase price, that got the attention of the sellers. Yep, he got the house.

Jan 26, 2015 01:03 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Interesting and some very impressive numbers.

Jan 23, 2015 01:05 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

$50,000 on a $320,000 sale. It was totally unnecessary but it went through.

Jan 22, 2015 12:39 PM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Only $10K.

Jan 22, 2015 08:16 AM
Marilyn O'Donoghue
Long & Foster Avalon - Avalon, NJ

Wow-I love reading these posts.  Great information

Jan 22, 2015 05:30 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Keith-Three percent is standard in Silicon Valley.  In most cases nowadays that 3% is more than the entire sales price of the first home I sold in 1976, which was $28,000.

I handled one Earnest Money Deposit for more than $200,000 on a $7M house in 2012.

A few years ago the CA Association of Realtors purchase agreement was modified.  It defaults to the buyer wiring the deposit into escrow AFTER an offer is accepted, and no check is given to the buyer's agent.  

Jan 22, 2015 03:17 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

I've had one buyer escrow the entire purchase price of $150,000 plus and another escrow $25,000 on a $600,000 purchase.  I am impressed by  the high escrows in the responses!

Jan 22, 2015 03:16 AM
Ann Wilkins
Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty - Oakland, CA
Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont CA

In representing buyers in multiple offer situations, I have often had buyers put in a $100,000 earnest money deposit.  The largest was this past fall.  A client had been beat out a few times and was making a "pre-emptive" offer on a property.  Listing agent hadn't set an offer date yet and it was just on the market for a day.  Client  offered $950,000 and included a check for $950,000 with the offer.  It was accepted but the escrow company couldn't cash such a large check did make an impact! 

Jan 22, 2015 02:41 AM
Patrick Willard
Rio Rancho, NM

$8000, 20% from an investor on an REO. Our market is notorious for low EM. I've had co-op agents bring me offers on listings over $200K with $500 EM.

Jan 22, 2015 12:19 AM
Peter Van Deusen
Riverview Properties - Chattanooga, TN

$25,000 on a $92,000 purchase (27%) - given for a low offer on an otherwise good home where it was evident the seller was in dire straits. Buyer wanted to be sure he had the attention of the seller!

Jan 21, 2015 11:49 PM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

thanks everyone for your answers

Jan 21, 2015 11:11 PM
John Dotson
Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC - Highlands, NC
The experience to get you to the other side!

10% of offer price is our normal amount, but that has been coming down with the slump in the economy.  About 15 years ago I got $250,000.00 earnest on a 1.8 million offer.

Jan 21, 2015 10:46 PM
Dana Basiliere
Rossi & Riina Real Estate - Williston, VT
Making deals "Happen"

$50,000 is the most I have had. Here most buyers do 1% unless they have it and want to offer strong offer in multiple offer situation.

Jan 21, 2015 10:34 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

In NYC it was 10% of the contract price; here in Charlotte it's 1-2% of contract price. I've rarely had anyone want to give more than what is the accepted local norm.

Jan 20, 2015 09:05 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

$5,000 for a new construction. (We have first deposit with the offer, usually $1,000.)

Jan 20, 2015 01:16 PM
Keith Whited
RE/MAX Gateway - Alexandria, VA

Don't think anyone is likely to top Gabe!!!

Jan 20, 2015 12:54 PM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Most of the buyers in this area offer 300 to 500 dollars for earnest money, however $1000. is usually the most.

Jan 20, 2015 11:15 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

$40, was for the full amount of the purchase price.

Jan 20, 2015 07:05 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

2% or $28,000

Jan 20, 2015 03:56 AM
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

I have had over $10,000.  I don't like doing that, because if there is issues beyond arbitration, that is over small claims court.  Generally the larger ones I've done have been development, and you place larger earnest, especially  after inspection.

Jan 20, 2015 02:15 AM