Use of Counter Offers

The Counter Offer might be a helpful document.

Remember that in the process of offers and counter offers, it is only the agent-to-agent communication which must be transmitted by fax or email.

Agent-to-client can be handled by e-mail.

Let’s look at an example. Bob is with XYZ Realty and represents Brenda. William is with ABC Realty and had Joyce’s house listed.

Brenda wants to put in an offer, so she meets with Bob personally and signs the papers. The offer is transmitted by email or fax to William’s office. He meets with Joyce reviews the offer and makes some changes. William then faxes the seller’s offer to Bob’s office.

Bob makes some changes and the offer is faxed back to William.

You will appreciate the problem here. At this point, the document has been faxed on three (3) occasions. The quality of the print is now very much at issue. The document is not that legible.

Both Bob and William have met personally with their respective clients concerning these negotiations.

At this point, the document is in William’s hands. Yes, he does have a somewhat blurry copy, but it is still legible and readable.

The preference might be to prepare a slightly revised brand new document, however, the original sits on Bob’s computer not his own.

So, William has one more option. He can resort to use of the Counter Offer form. This is a one page document.

He can email it to Joyce and have her sign it, scan it, and return it by e-mail. There’s no deterioration in the quality of the transmission. While a witness is not actually required in law, William can “authenticate” Joyce’s signature and forward it to Bob by fax.

Bob can simply arrange to have it signed and fax it back. That was two times through the machine. If we were still working with the first offer document we would now be at five (5) transmissions which would make this document completely illegible. And, that probably means “meaningless”, because a Court is not going to permit the introduction into evidence at trial of a standard form document in readable format. The Court will look at the  actual document.

This Counter Offer form has some advantages in lengthy negotiations. It adds a level of convenience and at the same time protection, since the document is readable and legible.

When it just comes down to one issue, that is, price, the Counter Offer is the ideal document for use.

Just imagine the number of times the document would have to be faxed if both clients only had fax machines and no e-mail.

The combination of e-mail and the Counter Offer permit negotiations to take place in Ontario in a more sophisticated way.

As we get away from faxes, we usually have better, clearer and more legible documents. But, that’s not always the case. It depends upon the technology in place,

The Counter Offer is one page, the standard APS is usually about 15 pages, so there is a considerable advantage to using the one page document.

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Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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