FAQ's about Deposits

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX professionals

What is a deposit for?

A deposit is a show of good faith that you intend to purchase the home.

Do I have to give one?

I am to understand that by law you are not legally required to give one, however it is such a common practice in today's market that seller's may not understand why you don't have one.

Where does the money come from?

The money would have to come from you directly.

Is the deposit money on top of the sale price?

I get asked this all the time! The answer is NO way! If you bought a house that was $150 000, your deposit is $5000, the sale goes through and is finalized, you now owe $145 000.

Is the deposit the same as the downpayment?

Sort of... The deposit is PART of the downpayment. Certainly it can be all if you would like, but may not be possible. For example, if your price range is $100 000, and you have your 5% down which equals $5000. You may only want to put $1000 down as a deposit. The main reason for this is deposits are cashed within 24 hours of acceptance of an offer, so if you don't have the entire amount now then you don't have to worry about it right away.

How much should I have for a deposit?

This depends on a few things, how much you have to put down now, and maybe even how much the house is. Some sellers will want as high of a deposit as possible, some are less concerned with such things. The best advice is to ask me what I think is best at the time the offer is written. Normal amounts are between $1000 and $5000.

How do I know my money is protected?

The money is deposited into the listing broker's trust account. The money is safely kept there and is then forwarded to the lawyer upon completion of the sale.

Who is the cheque made out to?

Because it is held in the listing broker's trust account it is made out to the Listing Brokerage.

What happens if I write a cheque and don't get the house?

The cheque is voided, never cashed and mailed back to either the agent that submitted the offer or the client.

What happens if I write an offer, we get it, and my conditions fall through?

If the offer was accepted and the cheque cashed then the agent would send in a form requesting a return of funds based on conditions not satisfied. It can take up to 10-15 business days to have that money returned.

What happens if my cheque bounces?

Oh boy... try not to do that!! Hopefully the brokerage that cashes it is nice enough to call you and give you a chance to make sure that money is there.

Is a money order better?

It depends. It is for sure a way to prove that the cheque wont bounce!! It may not be convenient for you however as we may be meeting to write the offer after banking hours.

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