Just Jersey Properties
Yikes, heck no.... Brokers have a fiduciary duty to their clients and mishandling of escrow funds is the #1 reason brokers lose their licenses and get fined or worse.
Funds must immediately be deposited into the escrow accounts, sales-persons must hand over the funds to their brokers immediately and then the brokers have to record the receipt of the funds into their escrow book or tracking software and then deposit those funds right away. They can't just throw an escrow check into a desk drawer, that is a severe mishandling of funds and does not safeguard the clients funds.
If the escrow deposit were to get stolen and cashed the broker would be responsible and when an offer is written, that contract states that so much money has been received and deposited into the brokers escrow account for which the contract is a receipt for. If the check should bounce, the broker must inform all parties right away.
If you are talking about the second deposit (typically happens 7-10 days after attorney review, but may vary by area) then this happens once you are under contract and the offer has been accepted by the bank.
Hope this helped and I wish you good luck with your deal.
The seller is still the owner and everything must be agreed upon with them, its just an added step that the bank must approve the sale terms because they are the ones that must agree to be shorted on the repayment of their money for the sale to go through thus is why they call it a short sale because they are being short changed.
Generally, earnest money is not deposited until all parties to the sale have agreed upon a price and terms.
Particularly since a short sale often takes weeks to get a response, your earnest money check should be held by the broker, but not cashed until and unless you come to terms.
Alternatively, a photocopy of the check should be sufficient.
I would be very reluctant to submit a live check in a short sale situation. .