What is an EMD or Earnest Money Deposit, how much are they, when is it given and where does it go?  
This is the funds the buyers put down to show the sellers that they are serious about the offer they are making, proving they are "earnest" about the deal.  The amounts can vary, but typically on resale homes you see 1% up to 5%, on higher end homes it might be more.  The EMD needs to be given immediately following all parties signing the contract.  Here in the Kansas City area the EMD is typically held at the Seller's title company.  The title company will deposit the check right away into their escrow account to be held until the contract closes and then the money will either come back to you at closing or be used towards your downpayment or closing costs.