The Counteroffer: A Detailed Example of How to Complete a Counteroffer Form

In the exciting and dynamic world of real estate, a critical phase that can make the difference between success and a missed opportunity is the counteroffer stage (counter offer). Whether you are selling or buying property in California, understanding how to strategically complete a counteroffer form is essential to achieving your goals. In this article, I'll take you through a detailed example of how to fill out a counter offer form step by step, with practical tips from a real estate expert.

Step 1: Counteroffer Form Details

First, familiarize yourself with the counteroffer form in use. In California, we use standardized forms such as the CAR Counteroffer Form (CAR Form CO). This form is essentially a formal response to an initial purchase or sale offer. Make sure you have a copy of the form available and understand its structure and content.

Step 2: Seller or Buyer Information

Start by filling out the basic information at the top of the form. This includes the names of the parties involved, the address of the property in question, and the date of the counteroffer. Make sure this information is accurate and up to date.

Step 3: Original Offer Details

In the appropriate section, provide details of the original offer you are counteroffering. This may include the price offered, financing terms, proposed closing time, and any other relevant details. By including these details, you show that you are seriously considering the original offer and provide clear context for your counteroffer.

Step 4: Conditions and Proposed Changes

This is the heart of your counteroffer. In this section, clearly outline the conditions and changes you are proposing. You can adjust the price, deadlines, contingencies and other terms depending on your objectives and circumstances. Be specific and clear in your changes to avoid future confusion.

Step 5: Signature and Date

Once you have completed all the details of the counteroffer, make sure all parties involved sign and date the form. This indicates your acceptance and commitment to the proposed terms. Additionally, it is standard practice to attach a friendly cover letter explaining your reasons behind the proposed changes.

Here is an example of a cover letter:

[Your name] [Your Title] [Company name] [Company address] [City State Zip Code] [Date]

[Name of Seller's Realtor] [Name of Seller's Real Estate Agency] [Address of the Seller's Real Estate Agency] [City State Zip Code]

Dear [Name of Seller's Realtor],

I want to thank you for the opportunity to submit our counteroffer for the property located at [Property Address]. We are very excited about the prospect of working together to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Let me explain the reasons behind the proposed changes in our counteroffer. Our goal is to ensure a successful transaction that is fair to both parties involved. After careful consideration, we have made some adjustments to reflect our needs and perspectives, while recognizing the value this property represents.

[Specific Details of Proposed Changes]

  • Price: We have adjusted our offering price to reflect current market conditions and recent comparables. We believe this figure is a more accurate representation of the property's value at this time.
  • Closing Period: We have proposed an extension to the closing deadline to allow us to conduct thorough due diligence and ensure a smooth transition.
  • Contingencies: We have incorporated some additional contingencies that we consider essential for our peace of mind and to fulfill our responsibilities as responsible buyers.

We understand that each real estate transaction is unique and that it is essential to maintain open and constructive communication during this process. We appreciate your efforts in representing your clients effectively and are confident that, by working together, we can reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

We are committed to fair and respectful negotiation, and we look forward to your response. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We value your time and attention.

Thank you again for your consideration and cooperation. We look forward to moving toward a successful transaction that meets the objectives of all parties involved.


[Your name] [Your phone number] [Your e-mail]

This friendly cover letter seeks to establish open and positive communication with the seller's real estate agent. Explain the reasons behind the proposed changes to the counteroffer and highlight the importance of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Expert Tip: Add a Detailed Justification

Imagine that you are a seller who has put your house on sale for a price of $500,000. You have received an offer from an interested buyer who is willing to pay $450,000. Before making a decision about how to respond to this offer, it is important to consider an effective counteroffer strategy.

In your counteroffer, you can include a detailed justification explaining your reasons for keeping the price at $500,000. Here are some ways to approach this scenario:

  1. Recent Comparables: Research sales of similar properties in your neighborhood that have occurred in recent months. If you find sales examples that support your price of $500,000, you can mention these comparables in your counteroffer. For example, “Based on recent sales of similar homes in our neighborhood, we believe our price of $500,000 is competitive and supported by the current market.”
  2. Quality and Improvements: If you have made improvements to the property that distinguish it from other homes on the market, mention these features in your counteroffer. For example, “Our home has recent updates to the kitchen and bathrooms, which add significant value to the home.”
  3. Value added: Highlight unique features of the property that may justify the price of $500,000. This could include a large backyard, a convenient location, or special architectural details.
  4. Market Trends: Explain how current market conditions support your price. For example, “Despite current supply, we see consistent demand in our neighborhood and believe our price adequately reflects the value of the property.”
  5. Offer History: If you have received other offers close to your price of $500,000, mention this detail in your counteroffer. This could indicate to the buyer that your price is in line with market expectations.

Remember that communication is key in a negotiation. Maintain a professional and respectful tone in your counteroffer, and show that you are willing to consider a compromise. For example, you could say: “We appreciate your interest in our property and are willing to consider terms that benefit both parties.”

By including a detailed justification in your counteroffer, you are providing the buyer with relevant and solid information that supports your price of $500,000. This can open the door to constructive negotiation and increase the chances of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.

Here's an example of how the seller might respond to the buyer's previous counteroffer:

Example of Seller's Counteroffer in Response to Buyer's Counteroffer

Dear [Buyer Name],

It is our pleasure to receive your counteroffer regarding the property located at [Property Address]. We appreciate your interest in this house and your willingness to continue with the negotiation. We have carefully analyzed your terms and conditions and wish to present you with a counteroffer that we believe may be beneficial to both parties.

Seller's Counteroffer:

  1. Sale price: We take into consideration your offer of $450,000. However, due to current market demand and the improvements we have made to the property, our counteroffer is $485,000. We believe this price more accurately reflects the market value of the property and the unique features it offers.
  2. Closing Deadlines: We appreciate your desire for a quick closure. We are willing to commit to a closing time of [Proposed Closing Date], which will give you the opportunity to take possession of the property within a reasonable time frame.
  3. Contingencies: We understand the importance of protecting your interests. However, we request that you reduce the property inspection contingency to [Proposed Number of Days] days. This will allow us to move forward more effectively in the sales process.
  4. Repairs and Improvements: We are committed to keeping the property in excellent condition for the new owner. We agree to take care of the minor repairs you have outlined in your counteroffer, as long as they are within a reasonable range of [Proposed Amount] to cover those costs.
  5. Other Terms: We maintain the terms and conditions you have proposed in your counteroffer regarding closing costs and other contractual aspects.

We hope this counteroffer demonstrates our desire to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. We are open to discussing and adjusting these terms to find a middle ground that works for both parties. We value the opportunity to work with you and look forward to your response.

Sincerely, [Seller Signature] [Seller Name] [Title or Position] [Contact Phone] [Email]

This example illustrates how the seller might respond to the buyer's previous counteroffer by adjusting the terms of the original offer to achieve a mutually satisfactory agreement. Remember that each situation is unique, so it is important to adapt the counteroffer according to the specific circumstances and needs of the transaction.

Final Tips

  • Maintain open communication with your real estate agent throughout the counteroffer process. Their experience and knowledge can be invaluable in making informed decisions.
  • Be realistic and flexible in your proposed changes. Consider the big picture and how your changes affect the viability of the transaction.
  • Maintain a professional and courteous tone in all correspondence and forms. This reflects your commitment and seriousness as a party to the negotiation.

In short, the counteroffer process is a strategic dance in which every step counts. With this detailed example and tips from a real estate expert, you're ready to take on the challenge of completing a counteroffer form with confidence and efficiency. Remember, the counteroffer is your opportunity to shape the transaction to your goals and ensure that your investment is beneficial.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

Please be advised that the content presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. The articles and information provided here are written from the perspective of a real estate agent affiliated with Keller Williams, and do not represent legal or tax counsel.

As the author, I am a licensed real estate professional under Keller Williams, holding Brokerage DRE License Number: #02197031. However, it is important to note that my expertise is in the field of real estate, and not in legal or tax matters. The insights and opinions shared on this blog are based on my experiences and knowledge in the real estate industry and should be treated as general guidance rather than definitive legal or tax advice.

For specific legal or tax concerns relating to any real estate transactions or investments, readers are strongly encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or tax advisor who can provide tailored advice based on your individual circumstances and the latest legal and regulatory requirements.

The information on this blog is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, and I, along with Keller Williams and its affiliates, disclaim all liability for any loss, damage, or misunderstanding arising from reliance on the information contained herein.

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