My only experience is in dealing with houses in regards to wholesaling - depending on how well I know the wholesaler, I'm paying anywhere from $500 for the wholesalers I know well, up to $2000 non-refundable for ones that I don't work a ton with. In the latter scenario, the wholesaler just wants assurance that I'm a serious buyer. I get it...and I should be doing my due diligence, albeit quickly, before I agree to sign the assignment of contract. There was one time where I knew I had gotten in over my head on a specific house, and it was $2000 non-refundable...luckily, I was able to find another buyer just to take my place. He paid me $2000 and my original deposit just counted on his behalf, so it all worked out. All that to say, just depends on your comfort level with the buyer in my opinion.