Counter Offer

mbaldwinJune 22, 2009

I received an offer on my house we have for sale, and i want to make a counter offer. I live in Nebraska, is there a special form I need for the counter offer, or do I use the same form that the buyer used to make an offer?

i have bought houses before, but have not sold any until now.

Thanks,

Michael

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c9pilot

Here's how we just did ours in MD, but this is a legal document and your state may differ (I am NOT giving you legal advice!):
Just to make it easier, I'd negotiate with the other agent or party verbally or via email until you come to terms. Then you should be able to cross out the old terms and write in the new ones (i.e. line out "$xxx" offer price and write above "$xxx" agreed upon price) and then initial next to all the changes. When the buyer gets the contract back, he'll have to initial next to all your changes, too.
If the buyer is working with an agent, just call him/her and ask - they're probably expecting it.
Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 7:49AM
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guvnah

We got an offer on a property & emailed back our counter offer. If/when we can agree on a price, I will get our attorney involved to draw up the contract.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 8:46AM
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brickeyee

"We got an offer on a property & emailed back our counter offer. If/when we can agree on a price, I will get our attorney involved to draw up the contract.

Good luck!"

In many states no one uses an attorney for simple house purchases.
The local board of realtors has a 'standard contract' that serves as the basis for a purchase offer.

Changes are made directly on the document by the parties, with each change initialed by all parties involved (buyers and sellers).

Other places (New York being a leader here) like to pay attorneys money to create contracts after negotiation, often dragging the process out.

If you are using a 'standard contract' make any alterations on the face of the document, and initial each change.

The contract then goes back to the buyer for their agreement or further alterations.

Once all parties have initialed all the changes with no further modifications the contract is complete and binding.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:43AM
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guvnah

Hi Brickeyee -

Whoops - I wasn't clear when I referred to drawing up a "contract".

I do plan on using the standard state realtor contract & then will have our attorney review it just to make extra sure things are legit. Doesn't cost much - lots less than 6% realtor fee - and won't eat up much time. It's not required in our state, but I feel better doing it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 6:52PM
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brickeyee

Go for it if you want.

They are likely to miss the same defects that the board of Realtors lawyers did.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 8:18PM
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mbaldwin

Well, what I ended up doing was to use my states purchase agreement, and rewrote it some so it was more of a counter offer to a purchase agreement. I spoke with the company that will be handling the closing, and she said she hates it when people just cross out, rewrite and initial the change. According to her it makes the contract much harder to read, and can, and has lead to some confusion.
My closing company said she could also have the buyer and seller in her office to work it out, then they would draw up the agreement for all to sign. I think the charge was only $50 for that additional service, but a lawyer wanted $150.00.
Going good though, but their first offer sucked, $20k less then I was asking for a $75k house. Comps came in around $72k, so wish me luck.

Michael

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 9:39PM
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xamsx

brickeyee: In many states no one uses an attorney for simple house purchases.

The best money that can be spent during a real estate transaction is on a good real estate attorney. Period. People will spend $500 on an inspector that can cover approximately 30-60% of visible issues on a house in 3 hours but they won't spend $1 - $2K on an attorney to make certain all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed. Sure it may not be customary in some areas, but so what? The biggest investment of most people's lives merits a few thousand dollars for peace of mind.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 2:29PM
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brickeyee

"The best money that can be spent during a real estate transaction is on a good real estate attorney."

It is a waste of money in almost all cases.

I use one for investment houses, but not for my private residence.

Outside of special conditions the attorney is just going to smile and collect his $$.

My wife is an attorney also, but simple purchases do not require an attorney and that is why they are NOT used in many states.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 4:00PM
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xamsx

brickeye I hope no one listens to that piece of "advice". If you'll purchase something for half a million dollars and not use an attorney to review the legal documents, I have some swampland in Florida I'd like you to look at.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 4:19PM
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cmarlin20

xamsx, here in CA, rarely is an attorney used. I know it is common in other areas, so many find it odd that one may buy a multi-million dollar house without legal consultation. But, it happens all the time
I've only consulted one once because of a tricky deal.
The sales price isn't a factor.
I'm not advising anyone not to use an attorney, but I agree with brickeye, simple purchases... not necessary.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2009 at 9:48PM
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brickeyee

"If you'll purchase something for half a million dollars and not use an attorney to review the legal documents, I have some swampland in Florida I'd like you to look at."

I have purchased well over that with no attorney.

How is he going to protect you from "swampland in Florida"?

Go out and do an inspection?

Buying property site unseen has nothing to do with purchasing a house you have walked through before making an offer.

In Virginia in many cases the only attorney involved is to perform the actual closing.
They review the deed for correctness, review the HUD-1 form for correctness, accept and disperse funds, and make sure everything is signed and delivered.

If you have never purchased property an attorney might be a good hand holder the first time around, but it is a pretty routine thing.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2009 at 4:06PM
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mary_md7

Im struck by the discussion of home as a "simple purchase" that doesn't need an attorney, yet many here will argue that purchasing a home is so complicated that one MUST have a realtor.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 7:18AM
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dreamgarden

xamsx-"The best money that can be spent during a real estate transaction is on a good real estate attorney. Period. People will spend $500 on an inspector that can cover approximately 30-60% of visible issues on a house in 3 hours but they won't spend $1 - $2K on an attorney to make certain all the Is are dotted and all the Ts are crossed. Sure it may not be customary in some areas, but so what? The biggest investment of most people's lives merits a few thousand dollars for peace of mind."

I'm with you xamsx. The real estate business is fraught with so many conflicts of interest that it seems irresponsible NOT to use independent legal representation when making one of the largest purchases of one's life. Especially for first time home buyers.

Look at how many real estate agents refer buyers to inspectors or appraisers of THEIR choice. No conflicts of interest with that, hmm?

We used a buyer's agent to purchase. When we hired her she said her services included free legal representation in the event that there were any problems. There were. The house failed the inspection.

Our agent tried to ram the sale through by lying to us about the inspection deadline. The seller sued us to force the sale anyway. Our agent told us we'd better hire a lawyer. So where was this agency 'representation' she promised? NOWHERE. So much for looking out for our interests.....

Because of this awful experience, we no longer use buyers agents.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2009 at 8:53AM
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