Wading Through the Counteroffer in Florida Real Estate Transactions

If you have had any experience in the Florida real estate market, you know that counteroffers are a constant hot topic! As such, this blog is a follow-up to the recent blog posted by Attorney Berlin on December 2, 2016. See Attorney Berlin’s blog here: https://berlinpatten.com/bound-can-entertain-offers/.

Simply put, a counteroffer is a rejection and counter to the original contract offer. A valid acceptance of a counteroffer requires the receiving party to accept each term of the counteroffer, in writing, prior to the expiration of the time for acceptance. Unfortunately, we have seen numerous instances where a party misses an initial next to modified material term and have thus failed to accept the counteroffer. Even worse, we have seen situations where the Buyer thought they had accepted the Seller’s counteroffer only to later find out that they failed to initial one of the modified material terms within the time for acceptance and that the Seller moved on to another offer!

As such, it is critical for the receiving party (and their agent) to review the counteroffer in order to ensure that they are accepting and initialing next to each material modification to the original offer. While this may seem like a simple task, we have seen plenty of marked up contracts that require a masters in cryptography to crack the cipher that has become the contract.

The FAR Counter-Offer Addendum is one tool that can help in confirming that the counteroffer was fully accepted and as such make sure that your deal is not lost over a simple initial! The FAR Counter-Offer Addendum is a one-page document that delineates the line number being modified, counter offer terms, as well as the signature and date of the change(s). Execution of the Counter-Offer Addendum by both parties, within the time for acceptance of the Addendum, constitutes a binding contract.

As always, should you have any questions related to contract dates, we urge you to consult with your local real estate attorney.

Berlin Patten Ebling, PLLC

Article Authored by William McComb, Esq. wmccomb@berlinpatten.com

This communication is not intended to establish an attorney client relationship, and to the extent anything contained herein could be construed as legal advice or guidance, you are strongly encouraged to consult with your own attorney before relying upon any information contained herein.

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.


3700 South Tamiami Trail, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL 34239 P (941) 954-9991 F (941) 954-9992

247 Tamiami Trail South, Suite 201, Venice, FL 34285 P (941) 955-9991 F (941) 484-9992

8130 Main Street, Suite 206, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 P (941) 907-9022 F (941) 907-9024

Did you find this real estate law content useful, but need actual legal counsel?

Speak to a real estate attorney!


When In Doubt, Write It Out…

We have been asked recently whether an agent’s email containing a counteroffer is binding. That’s an interesting question in itself, but it also opens up broader questions: what are the legal implications of acting as someone’s agent, and are there any “best practices” that can help keep an agent out of trouble? Generally, an agent…