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When is a Home Buyer's Deposit Not an Earnest Money Deposit?

Although officially on the clock and therefore working, this Sacramento short sale agent did take a trip yesterday with family to San Francisco. We hopped on the Capitol Corridor train, switched to the B.A.R.T. at Richmond and stepped out into the wonderful world of Powell and Market. Around Sacramento, this is known as going to the City.

My sister and niece are visiting Sacramento from Minneapolis. That meant I needed to show them one of the most magical places on Earth -- the Nordstrom shoe department. The odd thing about the shoe department at Nordstrom right now is the fact it is filled with mostly Lady Gaga shoes, which really are nothing new because they originated with Elton John years ago. Where were these shoes when I was 21? On the other hand, you've got your flats. There is not much in between. If you want a 3-inch heel, you're pretty much out of luck.

Kinda like a Sacramento short sale. You've got your serious home buyers, and then the ones who like to throw offers at the wall to see which will stick. Not much in between.

It was a rather slow day yesterday for offers. Seeing as how Thursdays are the unofficial REALTOR® Day Off, I received only 3 offers on my short sale listings. One of them offered a $5,000 earnest money deposit from the buyer. When I explained to the agent from the Bay Area that he needed to a) read the attachments to MLS and b) read the confidential remarks in MLS, he responded to say his buyer would want to reduce the deposit.

He seemed to take umbrage when I questioned the authenticity of his offer. Is that how they write offers in the Bay Area? They just make up crap? When is a deposit not an earnest money deposit? Is that when it's written into the offer or when it's removed from the offer?

Photo: Adam Weintraub

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Elizabeth Weintraub is an author, home buying expert for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a veteran real estate agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento, as well as tract homes in Elk Grove, Natomas, Roseville and Lincoln. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully sells short sales throughout the four-county Sacramento area with an emphasis on Elk Grove. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 40 years of real estate experience to work for you. Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate. BRE License # 00697006.

The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, available with free shipping.

Photo: Unless otherwise noted in this blog, the photo is copyrighted by Big Stock Photo and used with permission.The views expressed herein are Weintraub's personal views and do not reflect the views of Lyon Real Estate. Disclaimer: If this post contains a listing, information is deemed reliable as of the date it was written. After that date, the listing may be sold, listed by another brokerage, canceled, pending or taken temporarily off the market, and the price could change without notice; it could blow up, explode or vanish. To find out the present status of any listing, please go to elizabethweintraub.com.

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