The buyer’s earnest money check is written to the listing agent’s brokerage firm and not to the individual agent. The brokerage is responsible to deposit the check in a trust account and the amount deposited is considered toward the buyer’s expenses at closing.
If the buyer’s check bounces for insufficient funds, the buyer’s agent is responsible for notifying both the buyer and the seller in writing. The buyer will be given an appropriate number of days (typically 3) to come up with funds for the earnest money. If the buyer fails to make good on the earnest money, the seller has the right to terminate the contract. The buyer may be charged for servicing fees related to the bounced check.