How Much Earnest Money Should Columbus Home Buyers Offer?

Columbus earnest moneyFirst, you should know that we handle Earnest Money Deposits differently than traditional “buyer agents.” If you’re planning to buy a Columbus home, you should be prepared to include an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) when you make a purchase offer.

While earnest money isn’t required, it’s traditionally included with your purchase offer to show your sincerity in completing the transaction, and to convince the seller to choose your offer and take their home off the market.

Here’s how it works. When you make an offer on a home, you stipulate that your offer includes an Earnest Money Deposit in the amount of “x.” You write a personal check for the amount of earnest money, payable to our special Trust Account. The EMD check is held in our Buyer-Client folder.

If the seller agrees to your offer, the Earnest Money Deposit is held, uncashed, in our Buyer-Client folder until the inspections, renegotiations for repairs, and satisfactory appraisal is completed. Once these hurdles are cleared, then the EMD is deposited into our non-interest bearing Trust Account.

At closing, your Earnest Money Deposit is returned to you in the form of a BRRS Trust Account check. You can use it as part of your down payment funds needed at closing, or you can simply deposit the EMD back into your bank account – it is up to you!

Ultimately, the earnest money remains your money; it simply represents your commitment to see the deal through.

The home seller does not get the earnest money directly, unless you fail to go through with the home purchase, and your reasons for bailing out are not covered by the contingencies in the purchase contract. In this event, you could be on the hook for much more than the earnest money amount, which is why having an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, and specific written contingencies, are so very important!

There are no hard and fast rules about the amount of earnest money you should offer. It can be 1% to 3% of the home purchase price, or it can be as little as $250. But in a competitive market where other buyers may be vying for the same home, you’ll want your offer to be taken seriously. Since earnest money traditionally represents your financial ability and sincerity in seeing the deal through, a larger sum puts your offer in a better light.

Exactly how much earnest money to present is up to you. When you become a Buyer-Client of Buyer’s Resource Realty Services, we will give you specific guidance based on your personal situation, the market conditions, and the home!

As your Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we serve your best interests at all times! Unlike real estate agents and brokerages who represent sellers, as an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we only represent you, the buyer, getting you the best price and terms with no conflict of interest.

Understanding this distinction could literally save you thousands of dollars not only on the purchase price and terms, but also on seller concessions and home inspection issues, whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner!

Contact us with your home buying questions! Remember, we are with you every step of the way…all the way home!

Andrew Show
Broker, CEBA, CEBA-M, CNE, CSP, ABR-M, e-PRO, GREEN
Buyer’s Resource Realty Services
Serving Metro Columbus, Ohio with Exclusive Buyer’s Agents
7100 North High Street, Suite 204, Worthington, Ohio 43085
614-888-4110 | 888-888-4110 Toll Free | 614-839-4110 Fax

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