Earnest money is money paid to the seller to show that your offer to buy the home is sincere. The amount paid can vary, but is usually between 1% and 5% of the sale price. If you end up buying the home, the earnest money will be applied to the closing costs or down payment. If your offer is accepted but you decide not to purchase the home, the seller usually gets to keep the money. If the seller rejects your offer, the money is returned to you.
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