Counter Offers...


There has been much controversy over a counter offer. Some say that once a contract is altered, such as a price scratched out and a counter offer is put in it's place, that the original offer is no longer valid.

I prefer to make counter offers on a separate agreement. Once it paid off. When one party balked at a counter offer, and subsequently tried to walk away from the table all together, I produced his original offer and said we will stick with this one and accept it as is.

Had we changed his offer, we may very well have lost the entire sale.

A California Superior Court Judge (name on file) went so far as to address the California Department of Real Estate. It read-

"It has come to my attention that there is a widespread practice amongst Realtors which I think is inappropriate and which may or may not have come to your notice. Agreements of sale and receipts are taken on regularly printed forms, duly signed by the proposed buyer. Then, if changes are proposed by the seller, terms are scratched out by the broker or salesman and these are initialed by the seller. This is supposed to constitute a counter-proposal of some kind."
"Rather obviously, the program indicated is productive of controversy as to who made which changes. Furthermore, it is undoubtedly forgery to change the text above the signature of the intended buyer. I have told some people here that the counter-proposal should be in a separate document - on the back of the deposit receipt or elsewhere. However I think the practice is very widespread and requires some directive from you."


Excerpt from the Department of Real Estate Deputy's reply -

"We can recall no instance where the actions of the broker or salesman as outlined in your letter have been brought to our attention. The matter is a serious one and we will do everything to stop such a practice."


A counter offer may be much easier. Reference to the offer and the basic elements of a contract.

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