New York Agent, When you buy in NY, is the earnest money required or optional, and how much %? Do you still?

Asked by Ann Scoggins, Roswell, GA Wed Jul 2, 2008

have inspection contingencies? what is usually the biggest concern when buying in NY, regards to the inspection? What appliances do people include? How long is customary from contract to close? Thank you

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Marco Gomez &…, Agent, Jackson Heights, NY
Wed Nov 16, 2011
As far as earnest money deposits, it's optional in Queens and Long Island. Not many brokers have escrow accounts, thus they opt to not take any earnest money. Usually you give 10% of the purchase price once you sign the contract, or if it's an FHA or VA loan you would give the either 3 1/2% or whatever is required on the VA loan. In respect to home inspections the biggest concerns are Structural, electrical, plumbing, roof and exterior. Those are the biggest concerns when doing a home inspection and that is what they look for in addition there is also a termite inspection required by most lenders. As far as appliances a stove and refrigerator are almost always included in the sale. Speak to your agent, as they have to go by what Is on the MLS sheet which is the basis for what's included in the contract i.e. appliances, draperies, curtains et cetera. As far as time from contract to close for a house it's 45 to 60 days in New York and co-ops are approximately 90 days, as you have to factor in for the board approval

Hope this helps!

Marco Gomez
New York state associate broker
Keller Williams landmark to
Serving Queens, Brooklyn & Nassau
2 votes
I was in contract to purchase a property that was selling for 569K the seller only asked for 10K earnest money. 10% and 3.5 % earnest money seem like lot.
Flag Tue Apr 16, 2013
Mitchell Hall, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Jul 24, 2008
A down payment is the percent that will not be financed. In Manhattan it can be 10%- 100%. A deposit is what is required when signing a contract . A 10% deposit is usually required. Some new construction requires 10% at signing and an additional 5-15% within 6 months of signing.
Web Reference:
1 vote
Carol Bromm, , Babylon, NY
Wed Jul 2, 2008
On Long Island, the sale contracts are written by attorneys. The Agent writes a binder and uses that to negotiate the sale price. After the price has been agreed upon, the buyer will send in a home inspector. The home should be free of leaks and infestation, All appliances are to be in working order, along with the plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. After the inspection the buyer decides if they are going forward with the transaction. If so, the binder is sent to the both attorneys' office, where the seller's attorney writes up the contracts and sends it to the buyers attorney. The buyer will go to his own attorney to sign the contract and leave the earnest money deposit. On a starter home, the amount is usually $5000 to $10,000. A move-up home would be more.

The appliances normally included in the sale are the refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, and any built-in units such as dishwashers, microwave ovens, wine-refrigerators, etc. Freezers are optional. Quite often the homeowner will leave it so they don't have to move it.

From contract to close is normally 60-90 days.
1 vote
Gregb, Both Buyer And Seller, Massapequa, NY
Tue Nov 15, 2011
Let's get a little grip on reality here folks.
Unfortunately in this economy many homeowners have lost a great deal of equity in their property. I too struggled with a decision to sell my home over 3 years ago in order not to pose a burden on my family or the local economy.
Today, for a seller (let's face it, their lawyer) to ask for earnest money, especially on a VA purchase, is not only obnoxious, but arrogant as well. In most cases, where properties are depressed due to neglect or abandonment, how does the seller equate the earnest payment. If anything they should welcome any prospective buyer with open arms since these may be the individuals who rescue them from a foreclosure.
Then to all of my fellow veteran sisters and brothers, whether a first time or seasoned home buyer. If you are utilizing your VA loan status and confronted with a request for earnest money (down payment) from the seller, walk, there are many other available properties. Don't be bullied to think that this is the way business is done, you are, if anything, taking the highest risk.

Best Wishes
0 votes
Ed, Both Buyer And Seller, Elmira, NY
Sun Oct 18, 2009
I like how only ONE realtor answered the question. IS EARNEST MONEY REQUIRED OR OPTIONAL IN NEW YORK ? Thank you Rhonda Holt
0 votes
Eric Vazquez, Agent, Highland Mills, NY
Wed Jul 23, 2008
Earnest money deposit requirements may vary by region. In my area, since inspections are usually performed prior to full execution of contracts. The purchase offer is usually contingent upon satisfactory inspection, and since inspection results can sometimes cause a transaction to fail, any earnest money is typically refunded to buyer since contracts would not have been executed at this point.

As a matter of practice, and shifting risk, I don;t hold binder deposits. I request full down payment amounts to be delivered with contracts. By this point, any inspection issues would have been resolved and less likely that the transaction will be cancelled.

Remember, you still have the duty to account for client funds, but in this case, you have shifted and defered risk towards the attorneys in possession of funds and contracts.
0 votes
Rhonda Holt, Agent, New York, NY
Thu Jul 3, 2008
The earnest money is not required in New York. The down payment is required when the buyer goes to their lawyer to sign the contract. We usually requrest that the buyer leaves at least 5% down unless they are going to get an FHA loan then they can leave 3%.

The biggest concern regarding an inspection in New York is the upgrades to the electrical system, heating system, plumbing. Basements are a big deal in New York and can make or kill a deal.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Usually the property own will take the refrig. anything else should be included. Takes and average fro 30 to 45 days to close. Good luck
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Wed Jul 2, 2008
Just to fine tune the last answer...the down payment (earnest money) is hopefully 20% of the sales price, with part of it at contract signing and the rest at closing. 10% down is still being done, but 20% is considered much better terms....makes the bank's risk much smaller and a better chance of the purchaser getting a commitment.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more