Home Buying in 34202>Question Details

Martha, Home Seller in Tampa, FL

What is the typical amount that a seller would request in earnest money from a buyer?

Asked by Martha, Tampa, FL Wed Jan 18, 2012

Help the community by answering this question:


Jim is on target.
The earnest money is strategic positioning.
It has greater significance based on the situation of the home to be purchased.
The more competitive the environment, the more leverage earnest money signifies.

Be aware, the check you write for earnest money will be deposited by the escrow agent. Don't write a check that can't be cashed!

Best of success in acquiring your new home.
Annette Lawrence
ReMax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
727. 420. 4041
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 19, 2012
Hi Martha,

Like most things in a real estate transaction, there are advantages available if you think about each component.

A token amount as mentioned in many of the answers allows the offer to blend in with any other offers, and puts the seller's focus on the price offered.

A substantial deposit gets the seller's attention, and takes the focus off of price and gives them more confidence that this buyer will close.

The reality is that the deposit is not at risk as long as you have the contingencies in place, and you stay within the timeframes of the contract.

Be sure you have a knowledgeable agent help with the protective contingencies, and stay on top of the calendar.
Once the time has passed, the deposit is at risk if the buyer doesn't proceed to closing.

I also have a few blogs on my Trulia profile that may be of use to you when considering values on homes. That information is pertinent all across the country.

All the Best,

Sandals Realty http://www.ExplainShortSales.com
Web Reference: http://www.skgflorida.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
Martha there are many variables, the price, the condition of home and if the buyer is using cash or getting a mortgage. On average most sales ask for 1% of the sales price, some ask for 3 and risky buyers they may ask for 5% for a deposit.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2012
Most common practice is to place 1% to 3% of the purchase price. This will be included in the total contract funds and this shows the intent of the buyer to perform a contract of purchase on the property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 30, 2012
Hi Martha,
Generally the earnest money a buyer puts down is between 1-3% of the purchase price.
Debbie Capobianco
Michael Saunders & Co
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 19, 2012
It depends on the situation but the most of the time $1000 is a good amount to start with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 19, 2012
Martha - As mentioned before, 1% seems to be a good starting point. When I'm representing a buyer I typically don't start with more than that. My feeling is that if the seller wants more to feel comfortable or confident they can ask for more.

Unless, of course, you are trying to stand out from competing offers. Then you could offer to put up more after the home inspection has been done and you are moving forward with the sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
Hi Martha, it really depends on the price of the home. Most of the time $1,000 will do for the initial offer with the promise of more at a later date. That later date can be when the offer is accepted, or within a certain amount of days from when the offer is accepted. I like to write the offer stating that the additional deposit is to be paid with 48 hours after the inspection period. Why put all that money down on a house before you know it's true condition? The additional deposit would be increased depending on the price of the home.

Please feel free to call me if you would like to discuss this further.

Debbie Rempert
Atchley International Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
Hi Martha,
Good question! There is no amount set in stone. However $1000-$2000 is typical or 1% of the purchase price (whichever is more). This is just one of many common but important questions buyers like you have when purchasing a home. It is crucial you have someone on your side that can answer these questions and guide you through the process from start to finish and beyond. The best part is, your agent works for you with your best interests in mind and the seller pays his or her commission! It's a Win Win.

Feel free to send me a quick email or phone call with any questions or concerns.

Ryan Davila
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012

There really is no set amount required nor is a minimum or maximum spelled out. I've seen anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $100,000.00.

The "earnest money deposit" is a token amount followed by an amount equal to a certain percentage of the purchase price. The higher the initial deposit- the more seriously the offer is taken- usually.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
Hi Martha,

Typically I am seeing 1000 on most homes. If more is desired, it is usually addressed in the listing instructions to the agent, so ask your agent if there is such a request by the listing agent.

Good Luck,

Myke Triebold, GRI, LMC, SFR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
Ususally in increases of $500 for every 50,000 of home value.
That is: 1,000 for 100 to 150K
1,500 for 150 to 200K
2,000 for 200 to 250K and so on. This is totally negotiable.
Also when it is a cash deal i have seen asking for up to 5% in escrow funds by sellers, and up to 10% when sold by goverment (like foreclosures)

Tony Vega
Charles Rutenberg Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
The answer to your question varies by geography and is different from market to market. For example, here in Utah, the typical earnest money deposit that is most common is $1,000. Normally, there isn't additional earnest money unless there are unusual circumstances. Different markets have different practices and so I would ask folks in Tampa, FL what the standard amount is.

Some markets use a percentage ranging from 1 to 3 percent as an earnest money deposit. The higher the earnest money deposit amount, the more serious the buyer is. In a seller's market, buyers may increase the earnest money amount to distinguish their offers from others.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 18, 2012
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