ABC's of Buying Florida Real Estate




What About a Counter-offer. What is it.

  When you are buying a home, one of the things that may occur after you make an offer to purchase the home is the seller's right to make a "counter-offer."

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

  There may be other terms and conditions of the purchase offer you made that the seller may want to change such as the inspection time frame, who the escrow/closing agent will be, who will pay for the termite inspection, etc. Each change they make must be initialed and dated. If there are two or more sellers, all of them must add their initials at each change tghey've made to your offer.

  One Sarasota FL real estate expert we know says, "Keep in mind that all terms and conditions proposed in the offer you made remain in effect unless the seller changed them in their counter-offer." You, as the buyer(s) have the right to ACCEPT their counter-offer, to PROPOSE further changes, or to END NEGOTIATIONS when you receive the seller's counter-offer.

  This offer and counter-offer process can continue until both parties agree on all the terms and conditions. If you accept the seller's counter-offer, you would usually just add your initials to the changes they made and add the date of your aceptance to each such change. Brian Ward, another Sarasota real estate agent, reminds you of something that not seem as obvious as it is until it happens to you. "Each time you or the seller receives a counter-offer, they have the right to end the negotiations and walk away from the deal. If that happens, you will recive your earnest money deposit back in full.

 So, before you accidentally "walk-away" from a deal that is reasonably close to price and terms you want, make sure the changes you are proposing are ones without which you are unwilling to buy the home."

  Bear in mind that a verbal offer or counter-offer is worthless all terms and conditions of a Sarasota real estate contract must be in writing and signed by both parties to the contract.


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