Sizing up purchase deposits

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

In most states, it's customary, or required by law, for the buyers to include a good faith deposit when they make an offer to purchase a home. The deposit should not be given directly to the seller, but held by a trustworthy third party that maintains a trust account specifically for home purchase deposits, such as an escrow or title company, real estate firm or real estate broker. The deposit can be in the form of a check made out to the third-party company or it can be wired into the appropriate account. The size of the deposit you make is usually determined by market conditions and local custom, except for specific types of sales, such as probate sales or sales of homes in a housing development where a minimum deposit is required. HOUSE HUNTING TIP: Your deposit will become part of your downpayment if the sale goes through. Depending on how your contract is written, your deposit should be refundable if you are unable to satisfy a contingency, after exercising due diligen...