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Post dated check for Earnest ????

Post dated check for Earnest ????

Just wondering. Has anyone every given a post dated check for earnest? Anyone have thoughts about this?
Message 1 of 10
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

Why would you want to do this?  Do you need to allow time for funds to be transferred to your checking account?


I suppose you could just ask the seller's agent whether this would be acceptable.  But you probably can't post date it by more than a couple days.  In California, you have a right to rescind your purchase offer within 3 days without loss of earnest money, if I recall correctly.  If there is a similar provision in your state, I would imagine that you can't post date your check beyond that grace period.


My earnest money check bounced in a big way when I purchased.  I had to sell stock in order to raise the funds.  The trades hadn't cleared by the time the escrow company tried to cash the check.  I thought it would be a deal-killer, but it turned out to be a non-issue.

Message 2 of 10

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

Yes, indeed it'll be a couple of days for additional funds to be deposited. I guess it would be easier to ask if the amount I have at hand is enough for the earnest.



Message 3 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

Everything...and I mean negotiable in an offer to purchase real estate.  And it's not up to the seller's agent to decide anything on behalf of the seller.  An agent must present all offers, whether or not the agent thinks it'll fly.


Unless it's an extraordinary situation where you are trying to outgun multiple buyers, hand over a check for $100 with any offer-to-purchase.  Write a contigency into the contract, stating that even that check is not to be deposited unless the offer is accepted.  Also write into the contract a provision for additional funds to be deposited and held in an escrow account contingent on an accepted offer, and within a time frame convenient for you. (ie, an additional $xxx to be deposited in escrow 10 days after acceptance). 


There is no need to tie up money when buying real estate.   And always write a "weasel clause" contingency into any real estate contract, such as "subject to receipt and approval of the property's maintenance records".  It's general enough to let you weasel out of a contract you can't fulfill or do not want to, without penalty.


Happy house hunting, and good luck!  








Message 4 of 10
Senior Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

Where we are at, the minimum people will even accept for a deposit is 500 - 1K.  You can stipulate whatever you want, but remember that the seller will only want to negotiate so much.  If you want to argue things like that right from the start, they are going to look to see if there are any other offers that seem less likely to be problematic.  Worrying about 3-400 extra dollars in deposit seems a way to loose out on homes.  A friend of ours tried to do this.  They wanted to have all these concession up front.  $200 deposit, quick close, etc.  They had to bid on 13 homes before they got a deal.  We got one in 3 (1 of which we knew we would not get and 1 had 27 offers.  We did 1K deposit with a contingency based upon finacial approval, appraisal, and home inspection.  We also stipulated them to pay for 1 year home policy.


The contingency clauses are very imprtant for sure though.  You do not want to loose your $ over some repair they have not done, etc.

Message 5 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

mickie08, with all due respect, no one other than the seller is in a position to state what the seller will or will not accept...and most of the time, in my experience, even the SELLER doesn't know in advance what he'll accept.  It's the total agreement that counts...all of the terms.  


We may be looking at this from different perspectives.  I have been involved in hundreds of real estate deals over the years, both as a licensed broker and as a private investor.  I bought my first home 30 years ago with a contract I wrote up myself because the realtor I had at that time (the seller's agent) refused to present (or even commit to paper) my "unreasonable" offer to purchase.  She outright refused to even fill in the blanks on the contract, let alone write in contingencies.  So, I did it myself, presented it myself, and got the house.  


Pretty good for a kid with absolutely no money and no credit whatsoever.  The experience motivated me to get into the business.  What burned me was that the seller's agent still got paid her commission for a sale she refused to write up.


Two immutable rules I've learned:  1) NEVER pre-judge a seller or a buyer, and 2) Cash is King.


 All that being said, are absolutely correct with what you wrote.  My attitude when purchasing property is cold-blooded.  Of course I want the property, otherwise I wouldn't waste my time with an offer.  But I want the property on my terms, and if I don't get my terms, I walk away.  I don't look at it like I'm not going to get my picture-perfect dream house with the flowers and the white picket fence.  I don't get emotional about it.


So, my advice may not exactly apply here, it depends on the buyer's situation.  But I stand by my statements 100%, never once having said that my way of buying property works every single time (or anywhere even close to that).  As far as your friend, who had to make the 13 offers before he got a deal...did he get a "deal" (purchased well below market, or favorable terms, or whatever else) ?  Was it worth the extra effort?  Probably so. 


BTW, one property I personally bought had a grand total (earnest money and down payment combined) of $12.72 of my money held by the seller's agent until the closing.  It was such a small amount, it wasn't worth opening a separate escrow account (also one of my standard stipulations).  She also forgot to bring that uncashed check to the closing, and it delayed things a bit while she went to look for it.  Ended up that she somehow lost the check, it was never seen again. 


She took the $12.72 out of her own pocket at the closing to expedite things, because I refused.  Hardcore, right?








Message 6 of 10
Frequent Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

I don't know what your state's laws are, but in Minnesota, where I live, the earnest money must be deposited in an escrow account within 72 hours of an offer being accepted.
Message 7 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

Sommery wrote:
I don't know what your state's laws are, but in Minnesota, where I live, the earnest money must be deposited in an escrow account within 72 hours of an offer being accepted.

Correct.  That's true where I live also.  It's for the protection of the buyer against unscrupulous brokers and sellers.  Co-mingling of broker funds with client escrow funds is also prohibited in most places by law.


The escrow 72 hour rule doesn't apply, however, if other arrangements have been agreed to by the principles.


We all agreed that no one wanted to bother with opening separate escrow for a $12.72 personal check.


Hope that clarifies it a bit, and thanks for the comment! 


Welcome to the forum!



Message 8 of 10
Frequent Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

Thanks for the welcome. No, an escrow account wouldn't make sense in the case of such a small amount. But you did give a perfect example. Would the sellers agent pulled $1000 out of her pocket if she had lost a check for that amount? I'm guessing not.


All I was saying was that a post dated check would be trouble. My mom works for a large bank, and she said the banks don't honor post dates anyways. So the seller could still cash the check, then he'd be overdrawn. Something, I'm sure he doesn't want to have to deal with.

Message 9 of 10
Valued Contributor

Re: Post dated check for Earnest ????

I absolutely agree! 


Thanks, Sommery.

Message 10 of 10