A letter to the sellers that accompanies your offer to purchase a home has become a common practice in this market of low inventory and multiple offers. I have seen a variety of styles of letters over the years. I think it’s important not to Google “letter to sellers” and copy some format you find online. Let your own personality and style show through, not someone else’s.
Before we get to far on this subject, here’s what you should know about these letters. They are not a substitute for a solid, clean offer. And they may not be presented because many listing agents worry they could result in a Fair Housing violation. It is my opinion representing buyers that if they are in a situation where they would like to tell the sellers more about themselves and their offer to go ahead and write one and let the listing agent decide how their sellers act upon it.
In most cases a letter to the seller will accompany a purchase agreement that is being submitted in a multiple-offer situation. I have also seen these letters effectively used where the offer is coming in low and the buyer is not competing for the home. Remember you will be writing the letter to the individual that owns the property you want. So when you viewed that home what clues did you pick up on. Did they raise a family there? Were there updates to the home? Was the seller into gardening? No matter what the case, there are some important do’s and don’ts in writing these letters.
- Do let your own personality show through.
- Most letters to the sellers are simply that, a letter with some pictures. Others take on the look of infographics. Get creative and let your personality show through, but keep it all to one page.
- Do complement the sellers on their home, the updates done, yard, etc.
- The sellers have spent a lot of time and money on updating and maintaining their home. Let them know how much you like the updates and how that really set their home apart.
- Do tell the sellers why you chose their home over others
- If you were looking for hints to learn more about the homeowners during your showing, you can use that information here. The layout is perfect for raising your family, or for entertaining. The fenced yard and walkout for starting your daycare business…
- Do include pictures of yourself, family, pets, etc.
- Don’t discuss the changes you are planning to make to their home.
- Unless they are selling it as a tear-down, sellers won’t take kindly to your plans to gut their home they’ve lived in for years. So keep these plans to yourself.
- Don’t use the letter in replacement of a strong offer.
- A great letter will not replace thousands of dollars difference between you and the next buyer. So always present a strong, clean offer first and use the letter to sway them between you and similar offers.
- Don’t go overboard.
- Remember you may still end up negotiating with these sellers and you don’t want to seem too attached to the home and have that hurt your negotiating position.
- First impressions of the home
- Introduce yourselves
- Why you can envision yourself living in their home
- Thank you for considering your offer.
Need a winning strategy to get your offer to the top of the heap? Contact Realtor Dan Kokesh.