How do i write up a counter offer?

Asked by Young&dumb, Los Angeles County, CA Wed May 26, 2010

I have been recently approached by the city being told that they are in the process of collecting the properties on the street where i hold property. They made me an offer, i got it appraised for higher then they offered. I don't want to hire a Realtor and pay the 1.5-3% commission for something as simple as writing up a counter offer.

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Harold Sharpe’s answer
Harold Sharpe, Agent, Menifee, CA
Wed May 26, 2010
Hi Young & Dumb
I see you are getting the answers you want so I have an alternative suggestion for you.
Call a broker and offer to pay the broker to help you with the writing of the counter offer and give the broker a check for their work that day.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate License # 01312992
1 vote
Glen Mitchell, Agent, Half Moon Bay, CA
Wed May 26, 2010
and that would be because you don't want expert advice, e&o insurance, or possibly more money??? At least interview an agent or two and find out what they would charge for this particular service, in addition to a real estate attorney. Could be money well spent.

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1 vote
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Sun May 30, 2010
Young&dumb (I'm sure the "dumb" part is not the case or you wouldn't be doing your own research!) You definitely need an expert. I would suggest getting a real estate attorney who specializes in eminent domain so that you don't lose out. Let us know what happens! Best of luck to you
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0 votes
Emelia Sanch…, , Ontario, CA
Wed May 26, 2010
Young & Dumb,

You definitely need legal assistance. Find a firm that specializes in California's Eminent Domain Law. It is also important that your appraiser have significant experience in eminent domain matters. The goverment has their own appraiser.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed May 26, 2010
This is a different matter than your everyday run-of-the-mill residential real estate transaction, and I would refer my client to an attorney on this one, and if they felt I saved or earned them a bunch of dough and hard times, I would certainly appreciate some token for my guidance.
0 votes
Eric J Soder…, , Pleasanton, CA
Wed May 26, 2010
If all you needed was a counter offer I may see your point. But to be brutally honest, if you can't figure out how to write a counter offer with all of the online information there is these days. You definitely need a Realtor. There is much more to it then that and even if the agent simply reviews the contract and process through escrow it will be worth your money.

There is a reason nobody has directly answered your question. In these times it is possible that you would misinterpret something we say and then seek to recover monetary damages. We have no idea what the situation is. I know it sounds silly but it is the times we live in. A purchase agreement used to be one page. Now it’s eight. One for every lawsuit.

Commissions are completely negotiable. Decide on an amount you are willing to pay and make a few calls. I have to agree that you may be being penny wise dollar foolish.

Best Regards,
0 votes
Jeanne Feeni…, Agent, Basking Ridge, NJ
Wed May 26, 2010
So simple even a caveman could do it heh? Bear in mind that a pro may very well be able to help you negotiate a price that more than covers the commission. But there are standard forms - I'd do a search for standard CA forms and look for the basic Contract of Sale. Alternatively, you could ask for the assistance of an attorney. Makes sense to have some good resources in the loop - you can probably have the attorney write up a letter to convey your counter.

What an agent can do for you is to help you understand market value. Generally price discussions are based on market value analyses.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service
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0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed May 26, 2010
If you don't want to use an agent, do protect yourself and consider an attorney who specializes in real estate for all related paperwork, especially since you are dealing with a city--not that simple by all means.
0 votes
David Braman…, , Los Angeles, CA
Wed May 26, 2010
I would recommend you have someone assist you in drafting your counter offer. Though counter offers may seem straightforward and basic, it could be difficult to negotiate with the city and you may leave important elements out of the contract because of inexperience. And if your counter offer happens to getaccepted, you should have an agent represent you in escrow to protect your interests until close. Having said that, I would make sure to counter every specific item you do not accept and add any items which are not specifically included but that should be included. You should consult a real estate attorney or broker.
0 votes
Monique & Joe…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed May 26, 2010
Hello Young and Dumb,
This sounds like an Eminent Domain issue. I know your not keen on paying commission but it's very risky to not have representation. Our team includes myself and husband, Realtor and Attorney. We'd be happy to review your offer and counter. Don't go at this alone and that's my recomendation in terms of preparing a counter offer.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed May 26, 2010
If it was simple, lawyers wouldnt be in business. Real estate law especially dealing with a city should not be taken lightly. A realtor would be able to complete it for 1/2% to 1% but even then , a lawyers review may be worth while.

A counter offer needs to br written the same way a purchase and sales agreement would be written. It is bets to be on an official standard Purchase and sales that all real estateagents use as it will contains protections for you as well as any dsiclosures (both state and federal) which may still be needed even though selling to a city.

An attorney will charge by the hour and should give yo a free estimate. Saving pennies to lose dollars doesnt make sense. Make sure you do this right
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