Good checks acceptedHome buyers might be surprised that there’s a right and wrong way to draft the check for the initial deposit or earnest money when a real estate contract is presented here in Silicon Valley.

Right way – Be Specific:

  • Find out the name of the title company and make the check payable to that particular title company
  • Put the property address in the memo line
  • Write a new check for every offer

Wrong Way – :

  • Leave a big, blank space and write only Title Company in the “to” line
  • Write a generic initial deposit number that has nothing to do with your offer (not 3% of the offer amount)
  • Leave the date blank so that your agent or someone else can fill in the date later (with different hand writing & ink)

Why does it matter?  The first way, the seller and listing agent know that you are interested enough to find out where escrow is opened and to write a check for this particular property.  The second way is as if you are throwing spaghetti at a wall to see if it will stick. (Yes, throwing cooked spaghetti at a wall IS a good way to know if it’s cooked, but it doesn’t work well for much else in life.)

Perhaps if your offer is the only one, the effort you put in with this small detail will seem moot.  But if you are up against multiple offers, shortcuts on your part, or your agent’s, will count against you.  Put it this way: if you don’t look serious when you’re trying to make a good impression (think of a courtship), how will you be in escrow (think marriage)? If it’s bumpy now, it doesn’t bode well for the future – and you might be eliminated from the running since you’ve failed to make a better first impression.    So slow down and do it right!

  1. 3 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 1,470 sq ft
    Lot size: 3,214 sqft
  2. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,000 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,028 sqft
  3. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,220 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,082 sqft
  4. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,318 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,438 sqft
  5. 4 beds, 3 baths
    Home size: 2,274 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,189 sqft
  6. 4 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,602 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,059 sqft
  7. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,102 sq ft
    Lot size: 6,398 sqft
  8. 5 beds, 4 baths
    Home size: 3,769 sq ft
    Lot size: 9,400 sqft
  9. 3 beds, 2 baths
    Home size: 1,328 sq ft
    Lot size: 7,048 sqft
  10. 2 beds, 1 bath
    Home size: 1,882 sq ft
    Lot size: 19,401 sqft

See all Real estate matching your search.
(all data current as of 5/24/2018)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.


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Mary Pope-Handy
Sereno Group Real Estate
214 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
408 204-7673
Mary (at)
License# 01153805

Selling homes in
Silicon Valley:
Santa Clara County,
San Mateo County, and
Santa Cruz County.
Special focus on:
San Jose, Los Gatos,
Saratoga, Campbell,
Almaden Valley,
Cambrian Park.
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Mary’s other sites & blogs
Valley Of Hearts Delight
Santa Clara County Real Estate,
with an interest in history
Silicon Valley relocation info
Silicon Valley real estate,
focus on home selling

Silicon Valley Real Estate Report
Silicon Valley real estate
market trends & statistics
Mary’s Blog Awards
Top 25 real estate blogs of 2018 by RentPrep2018's list of top 25 real estate blogs to follow

Top 25 real estate blogs 2016
2016: Personal Income's list of top 25 real estate blogs.

Best Realtor blog award
2016: Coastal Group OC's list of best Realtor blogs

The 2009 Sellsius list of top 12 women real estate bloggers
2009: Sellsius list of top
12 women real estate bloggers

Mary Pope-Handy's Live in Los Gatos blog won the 2007 Project Blogger contest, sponsored by Inman News and Active Rain

2007: Mary Pope-Handy and Frances Flynn Thorsen win the Project Blogger Contest for Mary's Live in Los Gatos blog. The contest was sponsored by
Active Rain and Inman News.

Non blog award

Best real estate agent in Silicon Valley from the San Jose Mercury News poll of readers in 2011
"Best real estate agent
in Silicon Valley"

2011 readers' poll,
San Jose Mercury News