How much for deposit?

Asked by Steve, Bethesda, MD Wed Feb 6, 2008

For houses priced around 600k, usually how much do buyers put down as deposit (earnest money) in Bethesda area?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

15
Tman, , 30642
Thu Feb 7, 2008
Good morning Steve,

Don't you just love how everyone spends "your" money..? .l.o.l..

"IF" ~ you're pre-approved for that amount, letter in hand and you don't want the seller to paint every other doorknob blue ... then $5,000 would be just about all of it .

It's not the "big" money down that tells the seller your serious - thats the agents job, thats why they get paid - keep in mind, a huge amount of earnest money also keeps you tied down and off the market .... I've seen it more than once with folks that had big money down, but they couldn't buy steam off a hotdog and tied up a home for the next 2/3 weeks on an "if come".

Don't ever put down more than you would lose on a throw of the dice .... so why tie-up a huge sum of money when you could be making offers on something else if this one goes south.

Good luck.!
1 vote
Alan May, Agent, Evanston, IL
Thu Feb 7, 2008
As your buyer's agent, I would recommend that you offer $5,000 - $10,000 in earnest money. Earnest money is highly overrated. Yes it shows the seller that you're serious, and have some funding. But there are so many legitimate ways to exit the contract and retain that earnest money. As your buyer's agent I like to keep the earnest money as low as possible. The potential to lose that money is slim, as long as you follow the terms and conditions of the contract, but I want it to be small enough that if you HAD to breach the contract, the amount wouldn't be a devastating loss for you.

Now, as the Seller's agent, I want to see a more painful amount on the line. I'd like to see a minimum of $30,000, and would much prefer $40,000... but would settle for some amount in between $10,000 and $30,000 if necessary.... Again, since earnest money is very "returnable" within the terms of the contract... I simply like to see enough money on the line, that the buyer won't wantonly walk away from the deal if they should find a different home they like better than ours, selling for substantially less.
1 vote
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Feb 7, 2008
Steve,
Our advice is: enough to be considered by the seller as a serious buyer but not so much that if you had to back out of the deal and lose your deposit that it would be overwhelming. Keep it real and remember the closing is where large amounts of money should be exchanged.

The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar & Associates
Venice, Fl 34285

941-408-5363
1 vote
Carolyn Thom…, Agent, Rockville, MD
Fri Jun 24, 2011
Gerard,

I think that this goes back to my point about what is expected on a local level.

A $2,000 deposit for a $800K home here would be a problem. If the buyer offer $2K at first and then came up upon request, it is likely that the listing agent and seller would be more skeptical about the deal going to closing.

This often presents problems from beginning to end. I don't want my clients putting more money at risk than need be, but I would rather them put a bit more money down and win negotiations on other fronts, which is easier with a stronger offer.
0 votes
Gerard Carney, Agent, Spring Hill, FL
Fri Jun 24, 2011
You know you can get the mortgage, you know what the bank will finance you for, the difference you will bring to the table. This is a fact, then put a token escrow down with the offer, this is so that you do not have a lot on the line if things go wrong and there is a sour deal, believe me there are deals that do sour, inspections that show too much wrong with the home and sellers not willing to deal with what you trquest they take care of before the closing! So I would say that $2000 is just fine, this way you are not out in the cold if something goes wrong and a seller refuses to return escrow!.
0 votes
Susan, , Las Vegas, NV
Fri Jun 24, 2011
can be a % but i'm sure when you really look up some mortgage calculators you can get a range
0 votes
Carolyn Thom…, Agent, Rockville, MD
Fri Jun 24, 2011
I serve MD / DC and VA and find these answers fascinating. I think that it is very much dependent on the area, market and price range of the property being purchased.

There are areas in which more than 1%-2% is not expected in the higher priced homes.

Bethesda is competative and inventory is low. A favorable EMD not only shows the seller that you are interested but helps build their confidence that the deal will go to closing.
0 votes
Rez Kodad, Agent, Naples, FL
Thu Apr 3, 2008
Steve, there is no norm on Ernest Money Deposit. However, 1 to 3% is sufficient, except if specified in MLS by listing agent.

Cheers,

Reza Khodadad
Real Estate Consultant
0 votes
Ann Marie Cl…, Agent, Gaithersburg, MD
Thu Feb 7, 2008
If I were your buyers agent I would advise you to put down as little as possible but still make sure that the seller knows that you are a motivated and serious buyer. If you are closing fairly quickly 2- 4 weeks, I would say you could put down less, maybe even 1%. The seller knows that you are serious because you are going to settle quickly. There is less risk in time being lost in the sale of their home. I always advise my buyers to give something to get something...so if you have less to put down make sure that you give something that the seller wants...its all negotiable - especially in this buyers market. Please feel free to call (240-997-88654 or e-mail me (annmarieclements@gmail.com if you have any other questions. I would be happy to help you.
0 votes
Gary J. Rudd…, Agent, Gaithersburg, MD
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Steve:

As a listing agent I "try" to make sure that there is AT LEAST a 3% Earnest Deposit. In a perfect world I would hope to obtain a 5% Earnest Deposit.

Gary J. Rudden, Broker/Owner
Congressional Residential Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.crrealty.net
0 votes
Cindy Maves, Agent, Fort Myers, FL
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Hi Steve:

Listing agents typically like to see about 5% of the sale price as an earnest money deposit. Realistically, $10k -$15k would be a reasonable deposit with your offer.
Web Reference:  http://www.northropteam.com
0 votes
Ted Stewart, Agent, Baltimore, MD
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Steve,
Keep in mind that this is a home you want to purchase. What would you as a seller think if a buyer of your $600k home had a deposit of $5000 or less? I would agree that $15-20k (or more) is reasonable. It's part of the money that you're going to be spending to purchase the house any way. I always encourage buyers to have a reasonable deposit. It makes your offer look stronger and it's not money that you are going to lose. If you aren't able to make your financing contingency or resolve inspection issues, the contract generally states that the deposit is returned to you, so you aren't actually taking a risk. A higher deposit will make you look like a more serious, stable and qualified buyer to the seller. It may help you get a better price for the house for that reason.

Ted Stewart
Yerman Witman Gaines & Garceau Realty
Ted@TheBaltimoreRealtor.com
0 votes
James Downing, Agent, Dunedin, FL
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Generally; the minimum that a listing agent would accept is 1%; but on a higher end home - 2-5% is not out of the "norm".
0 votes
Emilie Chris…, Agent, Columbia, MD
Wed Feb 6, 2008
Hi Steve,

The deposit is negotialble. In this buyers market I would put down as little as possible. $2000-$3000.
Best wishes
Web Reference:  http://www.come2maryland.com
0 votes
Rick Reed, Agent, Gaithersburg, MD
Wed Feb 6, 2008
The earnest money deposit is negotiable, but a typical range is $15k-$30k for homes around $600k.
0 votes
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question
Financing in Bethesda Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more