In a competitive market, including a real estate offer letter with your home offer can help you stand out from the crowd. The letter is an opportunity for you to tell the seller who you are and why you’d make the ideal new owner.
Making an offer on a house is a crucial step in the homebuying process, of course, but it sometimes could use a personal touch.
Check out these 10 tips for writing a persuasive real estate offer letter.
1. Make a Strong Opening
Remember handwriting? Do your best and write your letter on a nice piece of stationery. You’re trying to humanize yourself in the eyes of the seller, and a handwritten note can go a long way toward doing so.
Address the seller by name if possible, searching for it online or asking your real estate agent. If, for whatever reason, you can’t find the seller’s name, avoid impersonal greetings like “Dear Seller.” Instead, come up with a creative way to address them, such as “Dear Owners of the Charming Craftsman on Oak Drive.”
As you write the letter, convey a friendly tone and a sincere message.
2. Tell the Owner About Yourself
You’re trying to differentiate yourself from other potential buyers, so share something personal about yourself that makes you unique.
Tell the sellers something memorable about your family, whether you plan to raise kids in the house, or maybe you’ve got a baby on the way and you’re looking for more space.
You could also talk about where you’re moving from and why. Maybe you’ve taken a new job, you’re looking for a sense of community, and you fell in love with this neighborhood.
3. Share What You Like Best About the Home
Why you want to buy the home is the central theme of your letter. So tell the sellers somewhere near the top what it is you like best about their house. Mention specific details.
For example, maybe you like the large front porch and can picture gathering there with friends and family on warm summer nights. Or maybe you’ve become enamored of the kitchen, where you envision cooking big family meals.
Don’t be afraid to throw in a little bit of flattery at this point, letting the sellers know how much you appreciate how they’ve maintained the home.
4. Find a Connection
One way to develop a relationship with someone is to find common traits or interests. If you notice that you and the sellers share an interest, it can’t hurt to let them know.
Perhaps you’re a longtime gardener and it’s clear they’ve spent a long while planting and caring for a garden in the back. Maybe you have a passion for pottery, and the seller has a small ceramics studio in the back. Or maybe you noticed a jersey hanging on the wall from your favorite basketball team.
As you hunt for a connection, be careful not to cross any personal boundaries that might make the seller uncomfortable.
5. Send a Personal Photo
Consider including a photo of you, your family, and your pets to help the sellers visualize who could next live in their home.
Again, the point of an offer letter is to make you multidimensional and more than a document the sellers receive from their real estate agent. A photo can help the sellers put names and faces together with the formal offer.
6. Explain Your Bid
Once you’ve given a sense of yourself and why you want to live in this house, you can get down to explaining your offer. Be honest and respectful as you give context.
If you think your bid is low, no need to dance around it. You could explain that the house is your dream home but it’s at the top of your price range, and that you respectfully ask the seller to consider your offer.
7. Let Them Know You Are Serious
Selling a home is a lot of work. Sellers only want to entertain offers that are serious. The last thing they want on their hands is a buyer who slows down the process and might not even make it through closing.
Make sure your letter clearly illustrates that you are serious about your offer and ready to buy a home. Let them know if you have mortgage preapproval and if you are flexible around closing dates.
These things will help sellers know you are a serious candidate and prepared to keep the process moving forward.
8. Mind the Length
If there’s a lot of interest in a property, sellers might receive many offer letters.
They may not have the time, or interest, to read long-winded missives, so keep yours short and sweet, perhaps aiming for one page.
9. Thank the Owners
The close of your letter should be as strong as the opening. This is your last chance to make an impression, weave in some personal notes, and make any final flattering remarks.
Thank the sellers for considering your offer and let them know you are looking forward to hearing from them soon.
10. Avoid These Things
Some things are better left unsaid, like changes you’d like to make. The sellers may have spent decades making their home perfect in their eyes, and you never know what they might be attached to. So even if you want to remodel the downstairs to open up the floor plan, keep those thoughts to yourself for now.
Avoid being negative. For example, don’t talk about pricing in a way that makes it sound like it’s unfair. And it’s certainly best to avoid making it seem like you are pressuring the sellers in any way, as with talk about time constraints.
Finally, avoid insinuating that you could afford more than you offered. You don’t want the seller to question your motives or be insulted. And don’t contradict anything in your formal offer document.
In a hot market, a friendly, personal house offer letter from a buyer could make home sellers take more notice, especially if they’re emotionally attached to the home and want to hand it off to a good caretaker. This is your chance to distinguish yourself amid a possible pile of other letters and sterile documents.
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