Understanding Earnest Money
What “up front” expenses can I expect when purchasing a home?
So that you will not be placed in an uncomfortable position when you purchase a home, an understanding of the earnest money deposit is of great importance. At the time a written offer on a property is initiated, you will be required by the seller to include a personal or cashier’s check for “earnest money”.
Your money will be kept in the trust of the real estate company (or a designated title company) handling the listing and not turned over to the seller. Your deposit represents your sincerity in the attempt to purchase and is refundable if the offer is not accepted, or if you loan is not approved, providing all the necessary dates are met in a timely manner).
When do you pay?
You will submit earnest money with the purchase offer, anywhere from $1000 and up. The more expensive the home the higher the earnest deposit. The amount is pre-determined by the seller in the listing agreement with the listing agent and is published in the MLS. The amount like most elements of a contract is negotiable, however the more money you put down, the more serious your intent will appear to the seller. This check will be held by the listing broker until contract agreement, at which time your check will be deposited into the listing broker (or title companies’) trust account. The listing broker brings these funds to the closing.
Loan application takes place anytime before selecting a home, but no later than five to seven days after the seller and the buyer agree. Fees are paid to the lender for credit reports and appraisals, approximately $300 to $400
It is extremely wise and much advised to have your home inspected by a qualified inspector. Common practice to to use a single inspector for this task, however many times when purchasing an “older” home or a property that has questionable elements, a wiser decision is to use a professional in the field of question. For example, the property may have obvious roof damage. A normal inspector will only tell you the roof needs replacement, while a roof inspector will tell you how extensive the damage is and give an estimate as to the expense.
Estimated inspection fees
- Home inspection: $150 – $300
- Radon testing: $25 -$200
- Lead $300 -$500
- Mold $125+
- Roof $50
The agent fee for the buyer is paid by the listing broker (the seller pays the listing broker as per their listing agreement and the listing broker offers a % (called a co-operation fee) to the selling agent) The only exception to this is when a certain fee is agreed upon, in writing, in the Buyer Agency Agreement.
At Closing (30-60 days later)
Balance of your down payment plus closing costs. Closing costs range from approximately 2.5% to 3.5% of your loan amount.
NOTE: There are many ways to structure financing, some include rolling your closing costs into the loan, or even having the seller pay them. In any event the above outline is what to expect during a “normal” transaction. If you want or need to great “creative” there are numerous ways to do so. Call me and we can discuss alternatives!
Continue to Closing costs and fees.
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We Know the Territory
Are you looking to buy or sell a home? Let us at The Berkshire Group assist you. We will take care of all the important and necessary details while you can attend to moving. Our business is helping you make the right decisions, guide you through negotiations, inspections and close on time. When it comes to Denver real estate, we know the territory. For experienced help with your real estate needs call now...303-589-2022.