ABC's of Selling Florida Real Estate



What About a Counter-offer. What is it ?

  When you are selling your home, one of the things that may occur after you get an offer to purchase your home is your right to make a "counter-offer."

What is a counter-offer?
A counter-offer is your response to an offer. It must be in writing, usually this is done by making changes to the actual purchase contract you received. You simply cross out items, including the price, which you do not accept and write in your "counter-offer." You must initial and date each such change you make. If you were to counter-offer on both the price and the amount of money you might be required to pay for any repairs found to be needed during an inspection, you would cross out both of those values and write in your values, initializing and dating each change.

  There may be other terms and conditions of the purchase offer made by the buyer that you want to change such as the inspection time frames, who the escrow/closing agent will be, who will pay for the termite inspection, an increase in the earnest money deposit, etc. Each change you make must be initialed and dated. If two of you are the selling parties, then both sets of initials must be included.

  Andree Huffine, a Sarasota luxury real estate expert, says, "Keep in mind that all terms and conditions proposed in the offer you received remain in effect unless you change them in your counter-offer." The prospective buyer(s) have the right to ACCEPT your counter-offer, to PROPOSE further changes, or to END NEGOTIATIONS when they receive your counter-offer.

  This offer and counter-offer process continues until both parties agree on all the terms and conditions. If the buyer accepts your counter-offer, they usually just add their initials to the changes you made and add their own date of acceptance to each such change. Rich Stover, another Sarasota real estate agent,states something that not seem as obvious as it is until it happens to you. "Each time the buyer receives a counter-offer from you, they have the right to end the negotiations and walk away from the deal getting their earnest money deposit back in full. So, before you accidentally "walk-away" from a deal that is reasonably close to price and terms you wanted, make sure the changes you are proposing are ones without which you are unwilling to sell the home."

  Bear in mind that a verbal counter or counter-offer means nothing – all terms and conditions must be in writing and signed by both parties to the contract.

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