There are still a lot of listings in the MLS with the instructions to include a copy of the earnest deposit check with an offer. Any offers not including ALL required documents will not be considered. Exactly what is the point of this? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard of anyone being able to cash a COPY of a check. Sure, in the “old” days when we actually delivered the offer to the listing agent we would include an honest to goodness check with the package.
Now that we are using electronic signatures and emails (does anyone really USE a fax machine anymore?), what is the point of having our clients write useless checks to ‘escrow’? I have had my share of arguments with listing agents, mostly REO agents who tell me “the bank requires it”. Seriously, does any bank actually think they can deposit a copy of a check? I have a client who will write a check from his office, take a photo of it with his phone and text it over to me. That’s right! I am now sending photographs of checks with offer packages. Does anyone else think this is as ridiculous as I do?
One of my colleagues is working with an investor who offers on property after property after property – many of them bank owned. He has finally gotten to the point that he has taken a single check from his checkbook and made multiple copies of the blank check. Now he simply fills in a copy to fit whatever property he is offering on and gives that to his agent to submit with the package. He may not be saving a tree but he is certainly saving himself money by not having to reorder checks as often! It’s not just about investors either. In the current Los Angeles real estate market just about everything is selling in multiple offers. A buyer will likely submit many offers before actually getting one accepted. Just how many useless checks are people expected to write and tear up?
For several years, most Los Angeles agents have been filling writing something to the effect of “buyer to wire earnest deposit to escrow” into the purchase contract to avoid having to deal with multiple checks from clients, logging checks and dealing with trust fund accounts. The California Association of Realtors finally modified the purchase contract to include the option of ‘buyer shall deliver deposit directly to escrow holder”. So great, now we can simply check the box that the buyer will deliver the deposit after acceptance and be done with it. But no! Even though this is now printed right in the contract, we are still being instructed to submit a copy of the EMD with the purchase offer. I am hopeful that someday soon sellers who make this demand will realize that a fax, PDF or photograph of a check is not worth the paper it is written on.
Copyright © 2012 By Jenny Durling * Include a Copy of Earnest Money Deposit With Offer – WHY?!