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!