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May. 27, 2008 - Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Someone asked this question today, so I thought maybe everyone would like to know that answer.

"Who do you make the Earnest Money Check Payable TO?

The Earnest Money check is made payable to "the escrow holder".  Here in the Seattle Area that is usually either the Escrow Company OR the Brokerage of the Agent for the Buyer.  Rarely is it ever the listing brokerage.

The check is most often made out to the escrow chosen in the contract on the day that you make an offer and sign the contract/offer.  "Closing Agent" or "Selling Broker" are the two options on line 7 of the standard contract.  "Selling Broker" is the opposite of "Listing Broker". 

More and more, real estate companies are closing out their "Trust Accounts" and using the "Closing Agent" as the place where your Earnest Money is held.

You, the buyer, fill out the contract first as "the offer", so you, the buyer, designate on line 11 your choice of Closing Agent, and write out the check payable to that Company. 

That  check is then held by your agent until there is a final agreement and contract, and escrow is opened.  If the seller changes the Closing Agent, and you agree to that change, the original check is voided and a new check needs to be written to the Closing Agent as agreed to in the contract.

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May. 27, 2008 - RE: Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Posted by Sarah Rummage
Ardell, in Nashville TN, generally the check goes to the listing broker.  We all talk about it as strange.  Why would you turn over your buyer's money to the seller's broker, we wonder.  But, traditionally, that is how it is done on most transactions here.  HUD sales do specify that the buyer's broker holds the earnest money, but no others. 
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May. 27, 2008 - RE: Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Posted by ARDELL DellaLoggia

Sarah,

When I worked on the East Coast, we did it the same way.  I think that is because seller chooses Title Company (same here) but Title IS closing agent on the East Coast.  On the West Coast we have Escrow Companies as closing agents, and Title Company and Escrow Company do not need to be affiliated with one another.

Seller chooses Title Company.  Buyer chooses Escrow Company and Earnest Money is made payable to buyer's chosen Escrow Company in my contracts.

 

 

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May. 29, 2008 - RE: Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Posted by Dividend Pirate
Nice and informative website. I live in Issaquah. The prices in Issaquah and Samammish are very high making it difficult to move to a bigger house.

http://www.dividendpirate.com
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May. 30, 2008 - RE: Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Posted by ARDELL DellaLoggia
There's no winning on that one.  If they go down people go under and upside down, if they go up people can't afford a home.  It's a lose-lose proposition.
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Jun. 3, 2008 - RE: Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Posted by Keahi Pelayo
In Honolulu, our earnest money deposits are made to escrow.  As a broker, we maintain a trust account, but I have never seen a check made payable to us.
Aloha,
Keahi
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Jun. 4, 2008 - `

Posted by real estate

I  have found one website of real estate business.This site provides the needful information regarding houses , storage/packing ,mortage stores , legal laws etc.

 You can add business there . This site has national wide locations . You can get the information of houses all over the world.

please check this link  http://www.aaamoving-store.com/

 

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Jun. 12, 2008 - RE: Who do you make your Earnest Money Check Payable to?

Posted by Doug Quance
Here in Georgia, it is more often that the selling broker holds the earnest money... though in many cases - particularly REO properties - the listing broker holds the money.

There are many instances where I will suggest to my buyer clients that they make the earnest money payable to the listing broker as part of our negotiation strategy.

So all in all - it depends.
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ARDELL DellaLoggia of Sound Realty on Seattle Real Estate process and market including Kirkland, Bellevue, Redmond, Green Lake and most areas around the top of Lake Washington North of Downtown Seattle. Phone: 206-910-1000 - Mailto:ARDELLd@gmail.com

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