My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. Earnest Hemingway on writing
Real estate Counter Offers are ideal forms for saying a lot without writing much. In fact, if we have a well drafted Offer to Purchase, the less we write on a Counter Offer, the better the chance of being understood and steering clear of creating a contradiction or a whole new issue.
Here’s a simple method of saying the most while writing the least.
You have an Offer where the drafter used Additional Provisions on page 3 of the Offer to insert this condition: “This Offer is contingent upon Seller crediting buyer $3,000.00 at closing to be applied toward buyer’s mortgage loan costs and prepaid expenses.” You presented the Offer and the seller’s only objection is this $3,000 credit. Seller is willing to agree to the rest of the terms, provided the buyer will accept a $1,000 credit instead of $3,000. Pick up a WB 44 Counter Offer. Notice on line 6 the first condition is already written in. It reads All terms and conditions remain the same as stated in the Offer to Purchase except the following:_________________________________.
Rather than rewriting the entire contingency and possibly altering the intention, change only what needs to be changed. In this case $3,000 needs to be changed to $1,000.0.
Line 7 of the Counter offer will look like this:
7 (1) Page 3 of 9. Lines 165 to 172. Additional Provisions. Line 167 change “$3,000.00” to “$1,000.00”.
I like this method as a recipient of the Counter Offer because the wording tells me where to look. Done right, it’s like having an instructor saying: “OK Meyer, See the Offer in your hands? Good. Now first go to Page 3 of 9. Then go to Lines 165 to 172. This is the Additional Provisions section. Here’s all you gotta do, change $3,000.00 to $1,000.00.
We are licensed to write terms that make sense, can be understood, and properly reflect the intentions of the parties. If everything else is acceptable, leave it alone and walk the reader through the form to the changes your client prefers. That should work for anyone who wants to be precise and isn’t paid by the word.
It’s none of their business that you have to learn (how to write). Let them think you were born that way. E. Hemmingway