In most circumstances, you will have 2-3 calendar days to submit your earnest money deposit to the real estate brokerage that will hold your money in escrow (hand-delivery is best, if possible).
So, here’s what you should know about your Earnest Money:
Your “good faith” deposit was an important aspect of your offer. It helped to convey the seriousness of your intentions to the Seller(s). A larger deposit helped to demonstrate that you have the financial resources to complete the purchase. NOW, it is time to pay!
Your earnest money may or may not be refundable. There are a number of standard contingencies in the contract that will enable you to get your money back (inspections, title review, document reviews, insurance, financing, etc)…and your REALTOR should have built additional safeguards into the offer to protect your money.
But remember, if you decide to walk away from your deal for a reason other than those covered by the contractual contingencies (maybe because you changed your mind or found a house you like better), then you will almost certainly forfeit some – or all – of your deposit.
(NOTE: When you signed your contract, you made a promise to buy the property. The Seller(s) pulled it off the market. The Seller(s) have now lost time and potential buyers, and incurred additional expenses (taxes, association fees, utilities, etc) during the ensuing time frame. So, if you decide to abandon the deal for a reason not covered by the contract, there will likely be a cost. You may be able to negotiate the amount of money you will have to forfeit, but you will likely have to forfeit at least some of the deposit)