This all depends on what is on the Agreement Of Sale. There is a portion of the contract where the buyer's agent, when filling out the contract with the buyer, will write down the offer price, any initial deposits are subtracted and then theres a line directly beneath that for addition deposits to be paid within a certain amount of time which is subtracted. Then finally the amount which is due at settlement.
If the initial deposit is the only one written down without any further deposits, then the only monies there are is the initial deposit. If additional deposits are to be made after the contract is agreed upon, then the buyer needs to give the additional deposits by the date written on the Agreement Of Sale.
If the seller does not agree to the contract, or no answer is given, the buyer is not bound to the Agreement Of Sale and should have their initial deposit returned.
The buyer also does not "need" to deposit 10%. If this is what was worked out with the lender, then it is between the buyer and the lender as to when the actual down payment is needed, not the seller.
Damages can only paid out when either the buyer or the seller does not follow through with any portion of the contract. EXAMPLE: If either the buyer or seller decides to withdraw from the sale for no valid reason, damages could be paid to the "injured" party. Then this gets into litigation with a competent attorney or mediator.
I hope that helps.
Terrence Charest, e-Pro
Century 21 Associate
905 Easton Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090