It all starts with the initial offer...

If you're buying a house, you want to make sure things are going to move smoothly the way they are supposed to. There is money on the line – your money! Make sure you don't lose your deposit along the way should something go wrong.

Put it in writing.
When you put your first deposit check down to hold the house, make sure everything (yes, everything) is written down in your original contract to purchase.

Include time for a home inspection.
You will want to have a home inspection clause written in; giving you proper time to have a home inspection completed to make sure the house is in a suitable condition, and is satisfactory to you.

Include mortgage contigency.
If you haven't already received a FirstAssure approval from Service First Mortgage - The Davidson group, a mortgage contingency is also important. This will give you the opportunity to apply and receive a mortgage commitment before being contractually obligated to purchase a house.

Include specific actions. Get it signed.
The most important thing to remember is to spell out in certain terms what happens if one of the contingencies is not met. What happens to the deposit? When do the contingencies need to be completed by? And what if they're not? All these questions need to be answered to secure your deposit amount from slipping away. It might take additional paperwork, but it's very much worth it. There are no handshake agreements in the real estate world today. Everything needs to be in black and white, and signed by all the parties involved in the transaction.

Be certain before you commit.
The one way that you're almost guaranteed to lose your deposit money is if you default on the offer. For example, let's say that you wake up one morning and decide that you'd like to back out of your original, signed, accepted offer. The seller would, and should, have every right to keep that money. So before you deliver a written offer and/or deposit money make sure it's a house you want to buy, and not just one you're only partially interested in.