Offers & Counter Offers


We have all likely seen a movie where the negotiations of a business deal can get heated. One party makes an offer and then the other counters. Its high drama and high stress in the movies for sure, and when it happens in real life there’s not much differences. In this episode we are going to get into the legal process of how offers and counter offers are presented. 

Once offers start getting thrown around, things can get confusing and unnerving for buyers and sellers, and agents if truth be known. Thats because there are some legal implications to how offers and counter offers work, and without a little knowledge of how it all works, things could enter into dangerous legal territory. 


Imagine our movie scene mentioned earlier, only place yourself in the starring role. Imagine the offer being written down on a piece of paper and slid across the table to the other party. Thats pretty much what has happened when an offer to purchase on a property has been submitted. 

When the buyer makes a counter offer, its like making a brand new offer on a new pieces of paper. Instead of thinking of it as striking through the numbers and sliding the paper back across the table. What has really happened is the original offer has been thrown away.


To make it more dramatic for our Hollywood blockbuster, let’s imagine it as lighting it on fire and burning it in front of the other party. The original offer no longer can be used. When a counter is presented, legally it cancels the previous offer, and can no longer be considered. 

And while we are on the subject of the legal aspects of an offer, let’s talk about verbal offers. While they are certainly helpful in negotiations of a deal, they are not worth the paper they are written on. Simply speaking, a verbal offer is an idea and the actual offer doesn’t exist until the details are placed on a contract. 

A written offer is a legal contract and is binding once both parties agree and sign. The details are critically important and if there is a disagreement later, the details of the written contract will come under scrutiny.. Working through the small details early, while everyone is on equal footing and getting along goes a long way to keeping a deal moving forward smoothly. Getting the details clear and concise is one of the very important job your agent completes for you.

I really enjoy the teaching aspect of being a real estate agent and these videos help me do that. I am positive that someone in your sphere of influence could benefit from them. Please share them. You can find all of my content on my web site at or my YouTube channel. Be sure to like, subscribe and ring the notifications bell on each platform to stay updated on my videos. Until next time….

Chris Whitehurst

Rose and Womble Real Estate 

252 312 2263