How to Handle EMD’s & Deposit Money

  • All money to be paid must be in the form of cashier’s checks or money orders. Cash is never acceptable.
  • Four Types of Deposit Monies:
    1. Earnest Money Deposit (EMD): This is required from all buyers when submitting an offer. They have to have this deposit money to show good faith and make a contract (P.A.) legally binding. These checks are usually to be made out to Premier Escrow Services unless otherwise instructed. This money is refundable if the inspection is not acceptable to the buyer or they are denied for a mortgage. The minimum EMD is usually $1,000. Most sellers prefer to have $2,500 to $5,000. More expensive homes, over $500,000, will require a larger EMD. Personal checks are acceptable and are to be written at the time we submit an offer; however, all funds must be available in the bank within 48 hours of acceptance of contract.  You will be asked to sign the “bottom line” after all negotiations have made and agreed upon and changes have been made to contracts.
    2. Security deposit:
      This is for lease only. The amount of security deposit is almost always 1 ½ times the rent amount. The check is made out to the owner, Landlord, or management company. The security deposit will be returned after a Tenant has moved out and the Landlord inspects the property, money may be held for damages beyond wear and tear or outstanding utility bills owed. The Landlord must return the deposit in full and/or provide an itemized list of deductions within 30 days after lease term ends and Tenant must provide a forwarding address to receive any money to be returned to them
    3. Non-Refundable Deposit(s):
      A Purchase-Lease requires non-refundable deposit(s) to be paid. This is normally 3x the square footage of the house. The smallest deposit we will accept is usually $3,000 but more or less can be negotiated between Tenant, Larry Williams, Listing Agent and Seller. This is sometimes an annual fee. It is best, not to bring this up, because it can turn off a lot of tenant buyers, if not handled properly. These checks are made out to Owner-Landlord unless, on initial deposit, a portion is made out to Real Living as additional commission.
    4. Land Contracts:
      The deposit is considered an EMD. An EMD is usually $2,500- $5,000. We have a non-refundable deposit form that states this money will not be refunded after the inspection period. This protects the seller if a buyer changes their mind about buying the house. The amount of total deposit is at least 15% and usually 20% of sales price. We normally can’t do a land contract (L/C) if the house has a mortgage because of the “due on sale clause” This deposit is usually to be made out to Premier Escrow Services unless otherwise instructed.Rent and Purchase Leases: There will always be 3 checks made out.

      1. 50% of rent to listing agent
      2. 50% of rent to selling agent (buyers agent)
      3. Security deposit or non-refundable deposit is made out to owner –landlord
  • Timing:
    1. PA’s and sales: We get the EMD when we make offer
    2. Rent Only/Purchase-Lease:
      We must have 50% of rent made out to Real Living. We also are to receive the other 50% of rent made out to the real estate company of the listing agent, unless, it is for our listing. If our listing, the check is made out to selling agents company. This can be paid immediately or after the inspection is completed. The deposit money must be paid prior to move-in, but on some instances the seller will require a percent of deposit paid at time of acceptance or after the inspection.