Offers and Counteroffers
Emma is a real estate broker in Twin Oaks. She has several listings and is working with many buyers. By all accounts, Emma is a very successful broker. Bill, her managing broker, is happy with Emma’s productivity.
Tim, a potential buyer, walks into Emma’s office and asks about one of her listings. “Could you please tell me about 123 Main Street? It looks perfect for my wife and me.” Emma gives him the information, and Tim asks to see the house.
Emma calls Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the owners of 123 Main Street, and sets up the appointment. Mr. Smith states, “I hope you are a serious buyer. We really need to sell our house quickly.”
When Tim sees the house, he’s quite excited and wants to make an offer. Emma, ever prepared, has a blank offer in her attaché. She helps Tim fill in the blanks on the offer, and she also writes an addendum for an inspection contingency. When Emma is about to present the offer to the Smiths, her mobile phone rings. Her office tells Emma another offer has come in for the Smith residence for substantially less than Tim’s offer. Emma considers this and decides not to present the lower offer.
The Smiths are happy to see the offer. However, they note that Tim’s offer asks to include the dining room ceiling fan. The Smiths cross out the ceiling fan and initial the offer. Emma shows the counteroffer to Tim, who accepts. The Smiths sign the contract and everyone seems happy.
Days later, the Smiths learn of the additional offer and are upset. Even though Emma explains the offer was low, the Smiths would have liked to see the offer before deciding which offer to accept. The Smiths threaten to hire an attorney and back out of the offer they signed.