Where Does My Earnest Money Go?

Many homeowners who want to buy property offer a certain amount of earnest money or hand money to the property sellers. Typically, earnest money is the deposit that a buyer pays to the seller so that the latter will hold the property he/she intends to buy. Depending on which state the deal is taking place in, the earnest money deposit check might be kept in escrow accounts that are non-interest-bearing. They will be held here till the related deals reach closure.

Generally, the earnest money check is applied to down payments for the property sale & closing costs requirements. A real estate earnest money deposit check & the manner in which it is applied is based on the purchase agreements that the deposit supports. Generally, real-estate purchase agreements have all the details noting what will happen to the earnest money deposit that the buyer has made, under different scenarios.

Earnest Money Amounts

In very hot markets, most real estate agents recommend that the earnest money deposits should be for 2-3% of the actual offer that is being made. In slower markets, the earnest money deposits that sellers ask can be significantly lower. Deposits of $10,000 and above come with bank & lender reporting requirements & are not really advisable. It must be understood that when you tie up a large amount of money in this manner, you will not be earning any interest on it.

Earnest Money Refunds

At times, property sellers & buyers make incorrect assumptions about these deposits. Some property sellers also mistakenly believe that if a sale fails, it automatically gives them a right to the earnest money check. Similarly, some buyers presume that even if the deal fails, they will get back all their earnest money. The fact is that in most real estate deals that fail, earnest money deposits that the buyers have made; end up with them, but the cancellation fees get deducted from the amount. Most property purchase agreements make note of when this money is refunded & to whom.

The Considerations

It goes without saying that when a real estate transaction fails, both the buyer and seller end up hotly disputing the earnest money deposits. Real estate experts always recommend that a property seller should not be permitted to hold the buyers’ earnest money deposit. The title company, real estate broker or settlement/escrow agent involved in the property sale holds these earnest money deposits. For more details about earnest money and mortgages, contact ResMac Home Loans.

 

Assembling Your Home Buying Team – Knowing The Players

Choosing a Home-buying Team

Buying a first home can be a complex process and there are a number of steps involved. The good news is that there are many professionals who can help and guide you through the mortgage approval process. These are the different professionals who will play a role in the home buying process. But it has to be understood all of them will not be involved in every stage. Your home buying team may include:

  • Real estate professional

  • Housing counselor

  • Attorney

  • Lender

  • Escrow officer

  • Housing inspector

  • Title insurance officer

  • Insurance agent

  • Surveyor

  • Appraiser

Important Functions

These are the different professionals you may have to deal with in the mortgage approval process. There will always be situations in which you will need and seek some impartial advice. This is where a housing counselor comes into the picture. These counselors work with nonprofit organizations and can provide one-on-one counseling sessions as required. They may also be able to provide you with information about the process involved in buying a home online.

Getting the Right Advice

There are so many different professionals that you will be hiring & working with right through the home-buying process that you will definitely want someone to support you and provide you with some sound and impartial advice. The real-estate agent plays a very crucial role in the entire process and he/she is trained to sell properties. The person will provide you complete information about the type of properties that are available and will look for something that falls within your budget.

Legal and Insurance Professionals

If you are getting a mortgage loan, you will go to a lender, complete the application form and give the lender all the information and paperwork they require. The lender will then check all the documentation and decide whether you are a good credit-risk. In certain states, it is a legal requirement that the real estate contract be written by a lawyer.

Attorneys will also review the terms of the documents that are being signed or help in settling disputes, if any. In addition to all these professionals, the escrow officer, the Title Insurance Officer, the housing inspector, Appraiser, Surveyor and the Insurance Agent will have a role to play at some point of the mortgage approval process. You should get all the information you can from them and understand the scope of their job while you are buying a first home. Call ResMac Home Loans for knowing more about how to get the best home buying team.