Who should the earnest money check be made out to?

Asked by Bee, 34209 Tue Aug 16, 2011

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Jo Anne Will…, Agent, Asheville, NC
Thu Nov 17, 2016
In some states, buyers close the house buying process at the attorney's office. In NC, for example, buyers will choose the closing attorney they want. When they write the offer, they can choose to write the earnest money check to their own attorney's escrow fund where it will be held until the closing. The check could also be written to the listing agent's real estate company's escrow account. When the buyer first writes the offer, their buyer's agent should discuss this with them. Whichever they choose, and the seller agrees to on the contract, that is where the check is written. So, it could be EXAMPLE LAW FIRM or EXAMPLE REAL ESTATE COMPANY. Be sure to put in the memo line: Escrow account for 123 State St (the address of the house.) The buyer can also choose whether to deliver the check with the offer or within 5 days of the signing of the contract. That can give the buyer time to put the check in the mail. Good luck and congratulations on your new home!
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Linda Grigor…, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sun Dec 16, 2012
Earnest money checks are made out to the escrow company. If the information is not available, the check may be made out to the brokerage and then held and endorsed over to the escrow company at opening of escrow.
Linda Dye
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Molly Mosley…, Agent, Columbus, OH
Tue Aug 16, 2011
It depends...what does the contract say? Most bank owned or foreclosures require that the earnest money is held with the listing agent's broker or the title company. If it is a regular sale than the earnest money is typically held with the buyers agent broker. If it is a new build it is typically held with the builder. Read your contract to be sure!
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Ron Thomas, Agent, Fresno, CA
Tue Aug 16, 2011
Probably the Title Company:

But why are you asking this question?
Do you not have a Buyer's Agent protecting you?
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Andy, , California
Tue Aug 16, 2011
Hi Bee,

Each local may have different custom. Read the contract. "What does the contract say?" is the answer.

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Margaret Has…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Tue Aug 16, 2011
The earnest money check should be made out to the escrow agent's company where it will be held.
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