money paid by the buyer to the seller, especially in a real property transaction, to show that the buyer is serious about following through with buying the property; if the buyer ends up buying the property, the money acts as a first payment, and if the buyer eg breaches the contract or acts in bad faith, the money can be kept by the seller
"The failure by a purchaser to close on the sale of the property within the allowable period may result in the forfeiture of the entire earnest payment."
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