Silicon Valley home buyers want to understand time frames, expectations and requirements when signing a purchase offer on real estate.  One of the most important to fully grasp is when the initial deposit check will go to escrow and be cashed.

The quick answer to the question about when the Silicon Valley real estate purchase offer check will be cashed:

Your initial deposit check or good faith deposit check (or wire transfer or other means of conveyance) is due within 3 business days of acceptance (also called “contract formation”) unless the contract is changed by checking the box and filling in the blank for a different answer.  By the way, everywhere else in the contract, time is measured by “days”, not “business days”. This is the one exception!

Two sets of forms, almost the same regarding the initial deposit

In Silicon Valley, we have 2 sets of forms that we use for writing contracts, completing disclosures etc.  One is the PRDS or Peninsula Regional Data Source forms.  The other is the CAR or California Association of Realtors forms.  In many ways they are similar.  Regarding the good faith or initial deposit, they are nearly identical.

The PRDS Real Estate Purchase Contract is briefer & more streamlined, so let’s start there.

PRDS initial deposit wording in the real estate purchase contract

Let’s look closer at the area for the amount being deposited and have a better look at the words :

Initial deposit in the residential real estate purchase contract for the C.A.R. forms

Once again, it’s 3 business days – though there are almost a myriad of other choices as to what’s happening with the check!

Bottom line: when you write an offer or contract on a house, condo, or townhouse that you wish to purchase in Silicon Valley, be prepared to have the check get cashed by escrow within (not after) 3 business days!


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

Best Realtor blog award
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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