A Handy Dandy Counter Offer Tip from Elizabeth Weintraub
For years, I have employed a counter offer tip that works so well that I just now am getting around to sharing it. I often share tips I have picked up over my 40-some years in real estate because I hope to help others. Due to the nature of Sacramento real estate, we agents are often so busy, we don’t stop to ponder some of the wonderful ideas we come up with. We just do them. Or, maybe I’m just talking about myself. Whether you use this tip yourself or you ask your agent to employ it, I guarantee it will save you from major headaches. Thinking ahead is one of the things I try to do. Because stopping problems before they start is my method of operation.
All it takes is one time that an offer gets screwed up before you might come up with this idea yourself.
See, the deal with a counter offer is it tends to change many of the terms of the purchase offer. Now, let’s say escrow or worse, the mortgage loan officer, forgets to read the counter offer (it happens!) and issues docs based on the original offer. If that happens, everybody has a problem, Houston. Further, the Sacramento appraiser could appraise the home at a lower price. Because appraisers tend to appraise at the sales price. To do otherwise is to turn in a non-conforming appraisal, and nobody wants that.
Naturally, one way to help counter that problem, pardon the pun on my counter offer tip, is to upload all documents to DocuSign in order: counter offer first, followed by purchase contract, addendum and accompanying docs. Then, after the offer is signed, download all of the documents into one PDF file. That way the counter offer can’t get lost and will always be the first document. Of course, to do this, you need to get the counter offer agreed upon first. Before signing the offer.
However, that is not my main counter offer tip. My main tip is to go one step further. In the purchase offer itself, I enter a text box for myself to complete when I sign the offer. The text boxes are positioned next to every term in the purchase contract that has changed in the counter offer. This means if the sales price was changed, for example, there are two spots to change on the first page of the purchase contract that contain the sales price. In both spots, I position a text box. When I sign, I enter verbiage in the text box that reads: see counter offer.
It helps escrow with the allocation of costs, too, especially if who pays what has changed in the counter offer. I insert those boxes throughout so there can be no excuse — no real excuse, anyway, for screwing it up.
I hope you have enjoyed my handy dandy counter offer tip and will find a way to save yourself future heartache.