The earnest money deposit keeps the buyer honest and it's something that is a recourse for the seller to use if the buyer does something in breach of contract (most typically, withdrawing from the contract outside of contractually allowable contingencies) that could cause the seller financial harm.
When Can the Buyer Lose Their EMD?
EMD Isn't the Limit of the Buyer's Liability
Getting Your Money Back
Customary in VA, Not a Legal Requirement
Forms of Earnest Money Deposit
Holder of EMD
EMD Details for Turning in 1:
Location of EMD on Contracts in SE VA
Take a Picture or Screenshot
Timing for EMD
EMD Terms in REIN Offers
EMD Drop Off & Mail
How to Fill Out an EMD Check