California Home Buyer 90043,
With more first time home buyers taking advantage of FHA loans requiring only a 3.5% down payment, the good faith/earnest money deposit amounts have relaxed as low as 1%. Even my conventional loan buyers are putting 1% earnest money deposits down unless for that particular property the seller is requiring a higher percentage up to 3%. If it is a multiple offer situation, then higher earnest money deposits may be considered stronger.
You will usually have 17 days in which to perform your inspections and renegotiate terms if any before the contingency deadline is declared and signed off on. You can always ask your Realtor to show you in the documentation that it is 17 days.
****BEWARE**** Fannie Mae properties and some of the other investors or bank-owned will sometimes require buyer signed addendums PRE-acceptance that shorten contingency time to 10 calendar days with higher good faith deposits required, so make sure you know exactly how much and how many days you have and that you see it in writing and not only hear it verbally.
If you are still in the process of choosing a Realtor, I would be more than happy to assist you as I service and know the 90043 area very well and it's surrounding communities. Do not hesitate to contact me at 310-508-4354 or post any other questions you may have. We're more than happy to help. Good Luck!