What is earnest money deposit and how much should we expect?

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Elite RM423455

Your home has been on the market and we receive word an offer is being submitted on your home for sale in Lancaster. You ask, “What is this earnest money deposit?”

Earnest money is the money deposited with the contract to show the

home for sale in Lancaster PAbuyer’s good faith intention to perform the duties of the real estate contract. The lower the amount of deposit, the lower the risk to the buyer if he or she fails to buy your house. This money is refundable to the buyer if the contract is terminated for reasons stated and allowed in the contract, like the inspection contingency. This money is also used towards the purchase of the home.

As a seller of a home for sale in Lancaster, you desire the deposit to be as large as possible. View this money as the incentive to accept the contract, take your home off the market and to wait for the buyer to get his or her ducks in a row. This factor is too often overlooked by inexperienced agents and sellers. However, you will not overlook it because you are a wise seller.

There are several factors which help you the seller understand the negotiations of the earnest money deposit.

  • Is there a financing contingency?

  • What type of financing?

  • When is settlement?

Earnest Money Deposit on a home for sale in Lancaster PAIf the buyer is paying cash, then getting a larger deposit is more likely than the buyer who is using 100% financing. However, it never hurts to ask the buyer for a larger earnest money deposit.

As a rule of thumb, I will advise you as seller to ask for 5% of the sales price for the earnest money deposit, but realize 1-2% is more realistic.

To learn more about selling your home in Lancaster, PA, contact me.

Posted by



Living in Lancaster Group


An agent who places your interests as his first priority. 
Cal Yoder

Your Homes for Sale in Lancaster Agent

Keller Williams Realty Lancaster

1630 Manheim Pike

Lancaster, PA 17601

Office Phone: 717-735-1145

Cell Phone: 717-413-0744

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Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

I'm sure this is a question asked by many.  Very good explanation Cal.  Best to you my friend.

Jun 08, 2012 08:56 PM #1
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
REcampus Fully Accredited Florida ONLINE & Classroom Training in Destin, Pensacola Florida - Panama City Beach, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

We get this question quite often ourselves Cal.  Thank you for the information.

Jun 08, 2012 09:16 PM #2
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Thanks Roger and I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I look forward to advising many, many more sellers into the future.

Wayne, thanks for your response and I am sure you advise your clients very well.


Jun 08, 2012 10:55 PM #3
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Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744
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