Earnest Money Deposit

Asked by Alex, Los Angeles County, CA Wed Nov 6, 2013

If I give EMD to escrow company with a check, can it be post dated till the day contingencies are removed? Or can I request them to hold the check(and not deposit in bank) till contingencies are removed? I am newbie so just learning all this. Can escrow under any situation not return deposit if we decide to back out within our contingency period? As seller is going to pick the escrow company for the transaction so not sure if that is good or a bad thing. Hence I want to protect EMD.

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Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Wed Nov 6, 2013
You can not post date a check that is earnest money. The whole point is to show good faith and put money down. A post dated check is neither good faith or money down.

Generally speaking, you can get your deposit back for any reason within the stated contingency period.

Sounds like you need a buyer's agent to help you with these things!

Best of luck.
1 vote
Brad Korb, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sun Jan 19, 2014
Hi Alex !

Happy Sunday !

The earnest money deposit is what it said it is, you are given an opportunity to buy the home.The seller is taking the property off the market for you.You have many contingencies in your offer so that you can get out of the contract & the seller can't unreasonably withhold your deposit .when you are buying your first home you will almost always be a bit uncomfortable,if you didn't it would be very unusual !The deposit needs to be in escrow within 3 business days ! Good Luck !!
0 votes
Stephen Lee, , La Crescenta, CA
Sat Nov 23, 2013
Other answers are good to reference it. Typically, once you goes in escrow you can not back out contract and EMD. Unless you specified on the contract but seller have to agree it. That is why you need a good buyer agent instead go directly to listing agent. That is most home buyer trying to do this days! A good buyer agent will help you those details for you.
Realtor in LA, CA area
0 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Nov 7, 2013
What did your agent tell you to do?

J.R. Thrasher
0 votes
Randall Ortiz, Agent, Sacramento, CA
Wed Nov 6, 2013
This is a question your agent should be able to answer for you. You should run this by your agent, they should be able to help you with this.
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 6, 2013
As a follow up to John's remarks, if you are asking a lot of questions here, I agree that you would be better served by finding and experienced, reputable agent/broker who works with inexperienced buyers and has the time to help you.
0 votes
John Juarez, Agent, Fremont, CA
Wed Nov 6, 2013
You are asking questions that any competent agent should be able to answer for you. I am talking about this question and others that you have asked. While we are happy to help you educate yourself in the procedures of buying a home, you would be far better served with an experienced local Realtor at you side.
And…I am talking about your own Realtor…not the seller’s agent.
0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Wed Nov 6, 2013
As pointed out below, the title companies will not accept post-dated checks. You need to understand the the title company is a neutral 3rd party. They will only return EMD with signatures from seller and buyer, so if there is a dispute they will hold it and you would then have to go to your dispute resolution as dictated by your contract, unless it is $10K or less in which case you could go to small claims court.

As buyer you are entitled to pick out the escrow company, but no title company will disburse your funds to the seller without your permission or order by someone with authority to do so.
0 votes
Lena Samigou…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Nov 6, 2013
EMD has to be deposited into Escrow account to officially open Escrow. Escrow companies won't send out your Escrow instructions without it. You'll receive a receipt of the deposit with your Escrow Instructions. Should you change your mind about purchasing the property within your contingency period, you'll be entitled to get your EMD back. Your EMD will become non refundable once you remove all contingencies. Your agent should be able to guide you through all these. Contact me directly if you need further assistance.
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