In a US real estate sale, is it ok for the purchase agreement to ask?
No. Im not a lawyer, so this isnt legal advice. For that, you need a lawyer. However . . . Deposits are to be put into a separate escrow account, almost always under the control of the brokerage of the listing agent. (As an investor, I use my settlement company and its escrow account.) A deposit should never, never, never be put into the agents bank account. Thats absolutely forbidden. Further, there are usually guidelines on how quickly (very quickly, a matter of days) the payment must be deposited into the escrow account. The agent cant even hold onto the check for, say, a week, before putting it into the escrow account.