What is an earnest money deposit?

By March 22, 2012 Uncategorized


  • mike says:

    The number of days required for the deposit can’t be changed at least in MD it is a Maryland law title 17 of the broker act. There may be some difference if the emd is given to a title company, however when a real estate broker holds emd it is 7 days.

  • webmaster says:

    Hi Mike, you are correct. Thank you for helping to clarify this for our readers. Upon reading your comment, we did a little research and updated our blog entry accordingly. (GCAAR put together an article a few years ago that goes into further detail on the matter.) Thanks again!

  • Dave says:

    When the contract terminates, & the buyer is entitled to a refund of the EMD, how long does the seller have to return it.

  • webmaster says:

    A contract is not considered completely terminated or released until both parties have signed a release of contract which provides for how the EMD is to be returned. If the seller is refusing to return an EMD, you should consult with an attorney about the possibility of suing for the EMD.

  • john says:

    Hello, it would be helpful if the article described, in DC, MD and VA, who gets the earnest money and under what conditions if the contract doesn’t go through.

  • webmaster says:

    Hi John, who gets the EMD depends on the facts and can vary on a case by case basis.

  • Tasha Greene says:

    Can you elaborate on this point from above? If the EMD is being held by the title company, how much leeway does a title company with regard to depositing an EMD check?

    “If the EMD is to be held by the title company or any other party, the number of days can be altered.”

  • webmaster says:

    Thanks for your question, Tasha. It means that the parties can negotiate or contract for the number of days before an EMD is deposited. This is not common though.

  • Arriel says:

    Why if the seller’s where about is unknown and cannot get the release form sign, how can i get the EMD refund? The property was short sale, and later went foreclose. Thanks in advance.

  • webmaster says:

    Great question, Arriel, and thanks for visiting our blog. You may need to hire an attorney to help because it’s possible you could need a court order to release the EMD.

  • MC says:

    On a very practical level, where do I send the EMD? I’m working without a realtor (FSBO sale), so these types of things are the small, but important details, that stall me temporarily.

  • webmaster says:

    Hi MC, thanks for your question. Who holds the EMD is usually outlined in the sales contract, and where we work it’s customary for the title company to hold it. Feel free to contact our office directly if you are selling property in the DC metro area.

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