Depending on the offer, its terms, & type of sale (short sales & some foreclosures) I usually don't have a problem with that initial $1000 escrow to be remitted "upon acceptance."
A larger amount will strengthen your offer. This will show sellers you are motivated and have strong intentions. 5% can be a good benchmark
Good luck with your offers!
Senior VP of Mortgage Lending
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It depends on what message you want to send to the seller with your offer. If you want to make sure they know you're serious about buying, you'll set your number higher, at around 2 or 2.5%. If you're dealing with an institution you can make as low as you can get away with, while keeping a semblance of seriousness. I've had offers accepted with $500. But they were low price, short sales.