As Len stated the funds must be deposited in an escrow account (once the offer is accepted) within 24 hours. This money cannot be co-mingled with other funds and usually is put toward the purchase price at closing, although I have had it returned to the buyer when it was replaced by mortgage money. Sometimes it is deposited in the Broker's escrow account and applied toward the commission at closing, other times it is held by either the Seller's or Buyer's attorney. It is not to be spent by any of the aforementioned, however. This is considered a VERY serious no-no unless permitted by written agreement of both buyer and seller.