I personally work as a Buyer's Agent as much as possible and in those situations, I like to minimize my client's exposure as much as possible. It doesn't matter if you have a few hundred to put down or are paying cash for a million dollar home, the deposit has the same purpose... it is to tell the Seller that you are serious about the deal and will not just leave the money and walk away from the deal... I like to call it a "warm fuzzy" for the Seller.
For the purpose of the offer, a large deposit can help to strengthen an offer with a lot of contingencies or concessions being requested of the Seller.
From my point of view, it is about striking the balance between promoting your offer as being strong enough to go the distance and not exposing too much of your money in case something catastrophic happens and you lose your deposit.
If you haven't already found someone to assist you with your homebuying process, please give me a call.
Coldwell Banker Choice Properties
I am not familiar with your exact market... In general, the larger the earnest money deposit, the more seriously your offer will be considered. This can be especially important if your contract has contingency clauses because it makes the offer more attractive. If you have $10,000 set aside for your down payment, why not put half of that down with the contract to show the sellers how serious you are? When there are multiple offers, sometimes a larger deposit will generate a "yes" to a contract with a lower offering price. Your earnest money deposit is refundable if things don't work out... In any case, please be sure to use a buyer's agent to help you find a home and guide you through the process. Best of luck and happy hunting!