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What is an Earnest Money Deposit?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeBuyer Brokerage

The earnest money deposit is money placed into an escrow account at the beginning of a real estate transaction.


a gree tree with bags of money hanging from its limbs

In the Greater Washington D.C. and Baltimore Area, an earnest money deposit or EMD is a sum of money that the buyer deposits into a non-interest-bearing account, typically with a title company. This deposit is usually anywhere between 1%-3% of the total sales price of the home and is made once a buyer's offer has been accepted by sellers. 

The purpose of an earnest money deposit is to show the seller that the buyer is serious about the home purchase. It also holds the buyer accountable to the terms of the contract. Should the buyer breach the terms of the contract, the earnest money deposit could potentially be given to the seller as a result.

Learn more about the earnest money deposit and HomeBuyer Brokerage here. 

Posted by

Victoria Lynne Henderson

Real estate broker and business owner of HomeBuyer Brokerage serving buyers in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Victoria was born in Washington D.C. and loves her hometown!

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Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Thank for sharing ! We forget that clients who aren't familiar with the real estate transaction process may not know things we think of as basics 

Jan 18, 2023 07:38 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello and great information to share with us here in the Rain.  Denver got snow so going out to snow blow soon.

Jan 18, 2023 08:01 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

It is a negotiable item . There are a number of Contingency’s that would result in it being refunded to the Buyer.

Jan 18, 2023 09:15 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

The bigger the Earnest Money Deposit, the stronger the offer.

Jan 18, 2023 09:59 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Here in PA we try to make sure that the money is always deposited with a broker as Title companies abide by different rules on who gets the money in case of a breakdown in the contract to brokers who are controlled by real estate law and must have both buyer and seller agree or a court order.

Jan 18, 2023 01:40 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Jan 22, 2023 07:23 AM