DEFINITION of 'Counteroffer'

A type of offer made in response to another offer, which was seen as unacceptable. A counteroffer revises the initial offer, making it more appealing for the person making the new offer. Responding with a counteroffer allows a person to decline on a previous offer, while allowing negotiations to continue.

BREAKING DOWN 'Counteroffer'

When a person makes a counteroffer, he or she is rejecting the previous offer and rendering it void. Because the original offer is now void, the person who made that offer is no longer legally responsible for honoring it. For example, let's say you are selling a vehicle. A buyer arrives and offers you $10,000 for the car. In an attempt to get a higher price, you counteroffer, asking for $11,000. If the buyer declines, you cannot force them to buy the car at $10,000, even though they have already offered at that price.

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