Earnest Money Distinguished From Option Money
Once more, the SC in Oesmer, et al. v. Paraiso Dev. Corp., G. R. No. 157493, February 5, 2007, had the occasion to distinguish earnest money from option money. It said that earnest money and option money are not the same but distinguished thus: (a) earnest money is part of the purchase price, while option money is the money given as a distinct consideration for an option contract; (b) earnest money is given only where there is already a sale, while option money applies to a sale not yet perfected; and (c) when earnest money is given, the buyer is bound to pay the balance, while when the would-be buyer gives option money, he is not required to buy, but may even forfeit it depending on the terms of the option.