Home Buyers Top 10 ?s #4

4.  What happens with my earnest money?

In South Dakota it is deposited within 24 hours of the acceptance of the offer.  The offer is accepted when both parties have signed the purchase agreement and any counter offers or addendums.  It stays in the trust account of the listing broker until closing and then is credited to your side of the settlement statement.  If the sale does not go thru because of a contingency that was not met, such as financing or home inspection, the money is returned to the buyer.  If the buyer decides not to go thru with the transaction and it is not based on a contingency in the purchase agreement the money goes to the seller.  The buyer may be liable for damages to the seller.  In the event that the earnest money is released before closing the buyer and seller are asked to sign a “release of earnest money” form.


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