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I Want to Buy a House: When Do I Put Down My Deposit?

I Want to Buy a House:  When Do I Put Down My Deposit?

down paymentThis is an important question for buyers and will have a different answer across state lines.  In Massachusetts, you are generally expected to put down monies at three different times during the transaction process.  All of these monies will add up to make your complete deposit.

Here are the times that you will need to have funds ready to put down toward your home purchase:

1.  When you make the Offer.  In Massachusetts, an offer is not binding without some money to back it up.  So a small deposit is necessary to go along with the offer.  This is called your Earnest Money Deposit.

2.  When you sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement.  In the state of Massachusetts, the Offer is separate from the purchase contract, which is called the Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S).  The P&S is the formal document that defines all the terms of the purchase and all of the responsibilities of the buyer and seller.  When you sign the P&S, you put down a P&S Deposit to bind the agreement. 

3.  When you close on the purchase of the home.  Finally, when you go to the closing table and sign the final documents, you will make the remainder of your Down Payment

In some special cases, you may be required to place additional deposits; however, the general process involves the three deposits described above.  All three add up to make your total Down Payment on the house.

Other Tips for Buyers

I Want to Buy a House.  How Do I Get Started?


Are you in need of an agent to help you with the home-buying process?  Give me a call: (508) 982-0686.  I'll be happy to help you!

Kathryn Acciari, REALTOR
RE/MAX Professional Associates - Sturbridge, MA


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Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador

Century 21 Real Estate LLC
175 Park Avenue
Madison NJ 07940

Serving Brokers, Owners, and Agents Throughout New England

Cell: (508) 982-0686   

Blog: Real Estate Blog
Twitter: @kacciari

Comment balloon 6 commentsKathryn Acciari • January 19 2011 09:43AM


This is a nice well explained post. To most of us this is common knowledge, but it's important to have posts like this because not everyone knows this. I love basic well explained posts on important topics for clients. These are the ones with the most impact.

Great post

Posted by John Saari, "The Mortgage Buddy" almost 10 years ago

Interesting that the purchase contract is a different document from the offer. Have you had situations where everyone agreed to the offer but had issues with some term in the purchase contract? 

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) almost 10 years ago

So, fair lady, where does this deposit money go?  Can I lose my deposit?

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) almost 10 years ago

John:  Thank you for your very kind feedback.  This is a question I get from buyers quite often.

Joetta:  Most definitely.   Sometimes we do not even get to the point of writing the purchase agreement, most often due to inspection or financing issues.

Conrad:  Ah ha - stay tuned for a follow-up post!

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Kathryn  I like it - simple and straightforward - easy to undestand

Posted by Karen Kruschka, - "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS" (RE/MAX Executives) almost 10 years ago

Karen:  Thanks!  Of course there may be exceptions to this process, but this is the general way things work here in MA.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, Brand Ambassador and Business Coach (Century 21 Real Estate) almost 10 years ago