• Refers to the small but important amount of funds which accompany an offer to purchase real estate. This offer is usually written as an agreement to contract for the property. Each state and locality have varying laws about this action. It can be very binding.
Earnest money: Is a deposit made towards the purchase of real property. In some locales it is viewed synonymously with the Binder. Other places consider it as an additional deposit towards the purchase. Here, the amount can be quite large. Often it would accompany a signed sales contract prior to the closing or settlement.