One of the most important terms in any contract is the deposit, i.e. the payment of money by the buyer towards the purchase price ahead of closing. The deposit is usually held in trust with the buyer’s brokerage and provides a kind of guarantee the buyer will follow through with the purchase. Contrary to popular belief, the seller cannot automatically claim the deposit if the buyer fails to close. Remember, the deposit is held in trust for both parties – this means both parties must either agree on how this deposit it’s to be dispersed or settle in court. The amount of the deposit is a matter of negotiation. Obviously, sellers prefer a larger deposit, while buyers like to keep it at a minimum The industry standard is 5% of the purchase price. The timing of the deposit may also be negotiated, but it’s often tendered upon removal of all buyer subject conditions. More questions on deposits?