How Much Earnest Money Is the Right Amount?

There isn’t any legal answer when it comes to deciding the right amount of earnest money. In general, the answer is whatever a seller is willing to accept. In some markets, the norm is to put down 1 percent of the total purchase price. For instance, for a $300,000 house, a buyer might be expected to put down $3,000.

But if a buyer is bidding on a hot property in a great neighborhood, it could make sense to boost the sum to increase the odds of the sellers accepting the offer.