George Clements ~ Greenville, SC Real Estate
Paragraph 3 of the Contract For Sale goes into more detail with earnest money. The paragraph looks something like this:
3. EARNEST MONEY: All cash monies or certified funds will be deposited within 48 hours of receipt, all other
monies will be deposited within 48 hours after the Effective Date. If a binding Contract is not executed by all
parties, the earnest money will be returned to Purchaser. The Listing and Selling Brokers and their Agents do
not guarantee payment of check(s) accepted as earnest money. In the event of default, the earnest money will
be dispersed in accordance with Paragraph 14.
This paragraph basically says that it is important for the earnest money to be deposited by the either the purchaser's or seller's real estate company (based on which company name is on the check) as soon as possible. They want the check to be deposited within 48 hours of having a completed contract. A completed contract is when both parties have agreed on everything and signed on all of the terms.
If there is not a completed contract reached and the purchaser has written an earnest money check then the check goes back to the purchaser.
Later in paragraph 14, the contract explains what happens to the earnest money in different situations.