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There's no Earnest Money required to make a real estate contract legal or enforceable. The exception to this rule is if you're entering into an OPTION to Purchase Real Estate. In that case, a $100 Option Deposit is required to make the option enforceable.
Most real estate contracts, however, have monetary consideration in the agreement. This is known to be a token of good faith by the buyer to put up a deposit while the house in under contract.
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Earnest Money is a deposit made to a seller by the buyer that represents good faith. Giving an earnest money deposit shows that you're serious about buying the property and that you intend to close the transaction. In a traditional real estate transaction, you can expect to pay 1% - 5% of the purchase price as an earnest money deposit. A real estate wholesale transaction isn't your usual type of deal, therefore the earnest money requirements by the seller normally go right out the window.
If you’re dealing with the right motivated sellers, they won't ask for an earnest money deposit. By the “right” sellers, I’m talking about MOTIVATED sellers, the ones that NEED to sell their house. Sophisticated sellers tend to ask for earnest money deposits.
Earnest money deposit is NOT required on a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement in any of the United States of America. The promise to buy is the consideration that’s required to make the contract enforceable. To avoid the topic, you can completely removed the EMD line item from your contract. The seller doesn’t see it, and therefore they don’t ask for it. Brilliant!!
In the event you get one of these sellers that insists on an EMD, you want to remain RISK FREE. There are a few things that you can do.