A letter to the seller may give you an edge in a competitive market
Home buying in today’s market is competitive. A heartfelt, personal letter from buyer to seller is one way to make an offer standout. However, some sincere sentiments can also turn off buyers.
Here are 5 areas to avoid if you plan on including a buyer letter with your offer, and some tips at the end to write a winning letter.
Avoid religion completely
Even though we are in the heartland and you may know the faith of the sellers, it is safer to avoid religious connotations. Even something as innocuous as “We can see our family gathering for a big Christmas celebration here.” It’s best to keep your religion and blessings to yourself. You can’t assume another family shares your same views or values.
Don’t mention anything you do not like
A seller may love the shag carpeting that makes you cringe or the Minnesota Vikings color scheme in the man cave. Even saying something like “there are a few things that would be easy for us to fix” is a big no-no. Steer clear of mentioning any offensive design or building choices- the seller could view these comments as insulting.Also don’t mention any remodeling plans you have for the home. Maybe you have different plans for the daylight basement. If the owners already made an investment to finish the space, they could view your plans as insulting.
Don’t draw attention to anything negative in your offer
A buyer’s letter is not the place to explain any contingencies in your offer- that’s your realtor’s job. If your offer has contingencies or you need to close quick because you’ve already sold your home, leave these items out and only focus on the positive.The letter is also not the place to bargain, such as justifying a reduction in purchase price for an all cash offer. Mention the all cash offer and keep the negatives out.
Mentioning pets can be good or bad
If you know the sellers have a golden retriever and you do too, this shared interest may be good to mention. However, for homeowners that don’t have pets, or don’t like your type or number of pets, this may be a detractor. Homeowners often are attached to their residence and want to feel as if it will be well taken care of after they leave. If in doubt about their pet sentiment, leave it out.
Don’t sound too desperate
Even though this is a letter about how much you love the house, don’t go overboard. Saying things like “we’d do anything for this house” weakens your bargaining position and could result in a higher sale price. Top of Form
Elements of a good buyer letter
Express what you love about the home
Point out some specific details that you admire, and the attention to detail in a particular improvement. This will make your letter more specific to the property, and not sound like a note you have mass produced to every potential property.
Do mention positives about your offer
Are you able to make an all cash offer? Definitely include that. Being flexible on the closing timeline to suit the seller can be a big asset too, such as “We could close quickly or at a convenient time for you.”
Look for common interests
This could include things like raising a family, if both buyer and seller served in same branch of military or love of gardening. Positive shared interests are a good way to bond.
Mention local connections
If you are from the area or have family in the area, include the connection and how excited you are to potentially be in (or stay in) the community and close to family.
Run a draft past your realtor
Ask us realtor to read your letter before it is submitted. We may notice a red flag you have missed.
Making the highest offer is usually the best way to get an accepted offer. However, when a seller is faced with two very similar offers, a good buyer letter can tip the scales in your favor.