You need air to live, but just how much depends on where you're at and how hard you're working. And the same is true in real estate.
The deposit is required in CA in order to make the agreement a contract. So, technically, your deposit can be $1. That being said, Sellers look at the deposit as a measure of how serious you are as a Buyer. Some will tell you to put 3%, but there is no hard and fast rule.
Consult your agent for advice as to how best to construct your particular offer. I usually ask my clients to put at least 1%, but every situation is different.
Please be sure to know your rights as they realte to contingency periods, arbitration, and liquidated damages too!
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