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Good Faith Money


Good Faith Money (also known as earnest money) refers to a deposit made to a seller indicating a buyer’s intent to complete a purchase transaction. It is used to show that the potential purchaser is serious and committed to the deal. This sum is typically held in a trust or escrow account until the transaction is finalized.


ɡʊd feɪθ ˈmʌni

Key Takeaways


  1. Good Faith Money: Also known as earnest money, is a deposit made by a buyer to show their serious intent to buy a property. This deposit is generally seen as a sign of “good faith” that the buyer is serious about the purchase and not intending to withdraw from the deal.
  2. Non-refundable, but applicable: Although good faith money is non-refundable in case the buyer backs out, if the deal is successful, this deposit is usually applied towards the down payment and closing costs of the home.
  3. Protection for the seller: The purpose of good faith money is to protect the seller from the buyer backing out of the deal without a valid reason. If the buyer does back out without a valid reason, the seller is typically entitled to keep the deposit as compensation for the time and potential buyers lost.



Good Faith Money, also known as earnest money, is important in the business and finance world as it serves as a potential buyer’s tangible commitment to a transaction, primarily real estate dealings. Used to affirm the buyer’s serious interest in purchasing, this money aims to reassure the seller that the buyer intends to complete the purchase. It provides a measure of compensation for the seller if the buyer defaults on the agreement. Moreover, it also gives buyers a degree of leverage in negotiations, which can be particularly beneficial in competitive markets. Thus, Good Faith Money is crucial in securing transactions, reducing risk, and fostering trust between buyers and sellers.


Good Faith Money primarily serves the purpose of demonstrating the serious intent of a buyer to purchase, particularly in real estate transactions. This monetary deposit is made by a buyer to a seller, signifying their sincere commitment to a transaction. By offering Good Faith Money, a buyer is essentially saying they are serious about carrying out the transaction and are willing to lose the deposit if they fail to complete the transaction. Furthermore, it creates a level of trust between buyer and seller, as it shows the buyer’s willingness to place their money at risk.In the realm of business and finance, Good Faith Money provides a level of risk mitigation for sellers. When they receive this deposit, it provides them with compensation in cases where the buyer fails to complete the purchase, thereby minimizing potential losses. Additionally, in competitive situations, a larger Good Faith Money deposit could make a buyer’s offer more attractive to the seller. In conclusion, Good Faith Money is a tool used to ensure sincerity and security in financial transactions, particularly in real estate.


1. Real Estate Transactions: Perhaps the most common example of Good Faith Money is during real estate transactions. When a prospective buyer is expressing a serious intention to purchase a property, they will put down a certain amount of money, known as “earnest money” or “good faith money,” to indicate their serious intent to the buyers. This amount can vary, but it generally ranges between 1% – 3% of the total purchase price. The amount is then included in the down payment if the sale goes through.2. Construction Industry: In some instances, before a construction company begins work on a new project, a client might give them good faith money. This serves as assurance that the client has the means to pay for the entirety of the project and it also ensures that the construction company will not be out of pocket for the initial cost of materials and labour.3. Wholesale Business: In the wholesale industry, potential buyers often have to commit good faith money. This is particularly common in international trade where both parties might be unfamiliar with each other. Good faith money in this context ensures the buyer doesn’t back out of the deal, leaving the seller with a large amount of inventory they cannot sell quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Good Faith Money?

Good Faith Money, also known as earnest money, is a deposit made by a buyer towards a seller which demonstrates the buyer’s serious intent to buy. It’s essentially a security deposit towards the purchase of a property or business.

When is Good Faith Money required?

Good Faith Money is typically required at the start of a purchase agreement. It gives the seller assurance that the buyer is serious and committed to the deal.

What happens to the Good Faith Money once a deal is completed?

Upon closing a deal, Good Faith Money usually gets credited towards the purchase price of the property or business.

Does Good Faith Money get refunded if a deal fails to go through?

The return of Good Faith Money in the event of a failed deal depends on the terms agreed upon in the contract. If a deal fails due to buyer, the money is often forfeited. However, if it fails due to the seller or due to other contingencies outlined in the contract, the money may be returned.

How is the amount of Good Faith Money determined?

The amount of Good Faith Money is typically a percentage of the purchase price, ranging between 1% to 10%. However, the exact percentage can be negotiated between the buyer and seller.

Does the Good Faith Money go to the seller right away?

No, typically the Good Faith Money goes into a third-party escrow account, not directly to the seller. It remains there until the purchase transaction is completed or cancelled as per the agreement.

Is Good Faith Money compulsory in every purchase agreement?

Good Faith Money is not always required in every purchase agreement, but it is a common practice in real estate transactions. It provides a level of security for the seller. However, the terms of a deal are negotiable, and whether Good Faith Money applies will depend on the negotiation between the buyer and seller.

Related Finance Terms

  • Escrow Account
  • Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)
  • Real Estate Purchase Agreement
  • Contingencies in Contracts
  • Closing Costs

Sources for More Information

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