A dollar is legal, technically enough to take a property off the market in Maine.
To put the ME real estate under contract. The deposit size is dictated by the parties involved in the sale. How much would the seller consider enough to prompt him pick a buyer as the future owner of real estate? Depends on the rest of the factors revolving around this property sale. If a long time to close is needed, if the real estate buyer has a long list of contingencies needing to be met or satisfied before that closing, the size of the deposit prudently should increase.
The deposit can be put in an interest bearing bank account and held by a Maine real estate broker or attorney until closing.
The money is not interest bearing in most transactions as the closing is eminent, and the size of that deposit is not large enough in rural areas to generate much interest income.
Who benefits from the interest in the case of a closing not scheduled to happen say for six months or longer? Definitely not the Maine real estate broker as that deposit is not his. Usually the real estate buyer who puts up the half or entire purchase price and who is losing interest on the CD or account where it was taken from has the biggest concern for loss of revenue. Maine land sales are often owner financed with the property seller holding a note, taking back a mortgage. Because the down payment often traditionally is twenty five to thirty percent of the purchase price, putting more than just a dollar or five hundred dollars down is the norm. For a real estate buyer to suggest a dollar or token amount to entice the seller to consider his offer to purchase seriously, that single dollar is not enough to take the property off the market for others to consider buying.
In the case of VA, FHA, HUD, Rural Development and MSHA Maine home loans, the real estate buyer has limited funds. No down or low down payment mortgages dictate smaller deposits simply due to lack of funds inherit in these financing methods. In any case regardless of the purchase and sale dynamics of any real estate deal, it ultimately is up to the two primary parties involved in the sale of Maine property. The buyer and the seller who between themselves decide what is enough, what is possible to consider as each take pen in hand to sign an agreement hammered out between the parties by an able bodied Maine real estate broker.
In many of the real estate textbooks I studied prior to getting my Maine brokers license back in 1980, the figure ten percent of the purchase price for a deposit was suggested as the norm. That figure worked better in most cases when the traditional home buyer saved twenty to twenty five percent for a down payment to be made by a local bank that did not sell the mortgage on the secondary mortgage market that was not “invented” yet. It took that size deposit for the bank to be happy and for the real estate buyer to be able to swing the payments on the mortgage amount after you subtracted the deposit figure from the sales price hammered out in negotiations between parties. Paul Creteau wrote many of the early Maine real estate textbooks used to study for a ME agent or broker’s license exam.