Does a buyer have to submit his earnest money with the offer?
03/04/2016 | Author: Editorial Staff
I submitted an offer to a listing agent on behalf of my client, who offered to pay $1,500 in earnest money. This listing agent reviewed the offer but said he wouldn’t present it until he received the check. He said if the seller accepts my client’s offer, then the earnest money is necessary for the offer to become a binding contract. Is this true?
No. Earnest money is not necessary to make an otherwise accepted offer into a valid contract. Earnest money is a buyer-performance item required to be deposited after a contract is fully executed. A contract could become effective even if no earnest money is required in the agreement.
While a seller could instruct an agent to only present offers that include an earnest-money check, an agent who decided himself that he will not present an offer without an earnest-money check may be violating the Code of Ethics’ instruction to present all offers as quickly as possible.
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