Management and Deposit of Initial Payments in the Real Estate Sector

Proper management of deposits in the real estate market is essential to ensure trust and transparency in each transaction. These procedures are designed to protect the interests of all parties involved and to ensure that funds are handled with integrity.

The Standard Procedure in the Absence of Specific Instructions: Immediate Delivery of Deposits to the Broker

Imagine the following situation: A residential salesperson agent, without specific instructions on how to handle down payments or security deposits, receives a deposit of $5,000 from a potential buyer in connection with an offer. In circumstances like these, what is the correct action for the agent to take?

The answer is clear and direct: the sales agent You must deliver the deposit to your broker immediately. This action is not only good professional practice, but is a requirement established in BPC 10145 (c). Without specific instructions to the contrary, the agent has no choice but to immediately transfer the funds to the responsible broker.

Of course, the broker could instruct the sales agent to deposit the funds or deliver them to the broker's principal, but In the absence of such indications, immediate delivery is the norm.

Treatment of Initial Payment Checks

In situations where a broker receives a check as a security deposit along with an offer to purchase a property, the treatment of said check depends on the instructions given by the offeror. If the offeror has given written instructions, the broker You can hold the check uncashed or deposit it until the offer is accepted. Without these specific instructions, the broker is required to deposit the check in a Trust Account or neutral depository within three days of receipt. It is crucial to note that such instructions for holding the check must be in writing, and the check cannot be issued to the broker. Neither the amount of the check nor the issuing bank affects this treatment, as provided in CCR 2832 (c), (d).

Deadlines for the Deposit of Trust Funds

Leaving aside any circumstances in which a broker is permitted to retain a deposit check uncashed, brokers trust funds received by a broker must be deposited into an Account Trust within 3 business days of receipt. This requirement highlights the importance of guaranteeing the security and proper management of said funds for the benefit of all parties involved.


The real estate sector, being an industry based on trust, requires rigorous protocols for managing funds. Proper management of deposits, whether delivering them immediately to the broker or following specific instructions on down payment checks, is essential to maintaining reliability and professionalism in the market.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

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