Friday, February 28, 2020 / by Lino Arci
Many home hunters believe that sellers are only influenced by one thing: cold, hard cash. While it's true that money is usually the deciding factor, buyers should take others into account before they make their bid. Case in point: the offer letter. Writing to a seller provides a personal touch—and it gives you the opportunity to explain your bid if need be.
If you're planning to include a letter with your home offer, here are a few quick tips for crafting one that's compelling...
Make a connection
Sellers are human, which means they'd rather make a deal with a person they like than someone they know nothing about. Fortunately, your offer letter provides the perfect opportunity to say something about yourself. If you noticed you have things in common with the seller, all the better. It could be as simple as the fact that you both have young kids, or that you root for the same baseball team. Either way, mentioning a shared interest will help create a sense of connection.
You're bound to have plenty of compliments for the property you're hoping to buy. Why not share them with the seller? True, they'll soon have another place to call home. But chances are, they still take pride in their current living space—and there's no harm in a little bit of flattery. The key is to be genuine. If you love the backyard or the way they've laid out their furniture, say so.
Talk about the future
Have you spent a lot of time searching for a forever home in the seller's neighbourhood? Has it long been your dream to raise children there? The truth is, most sellers want to know that the next person who owns their property will love and care for it the way they did. Sharing your future plans will help them see that their home will be in good hands with you. Word of warning: if you're planning to renovate, this might not be the time to mention it.
Keep it concise
While an offer letter can provide a nice touch, few sellers have the patience to read a long one. For maximum impact, ensure that your text is no longer than a page. This length will provide you with enough space to explain yourself, without feeling long and drawn out. Remember that the key to writing well is editing—so get out that red pen, and be sure to ask someone else to provide constructive feedback!
Explain your bid
They say money talks, but sometimes a bit of context is helpful. If your bid is on the low side, this is your opportunity to talk about it. It's okay to acknowledge that what you're offering is less than the seller is asking for. Make sure they know it's the maximum that your budget will allow, reiterate how much you love their home, and express your hopes for a mutually-beneficial agreement!
Last but certainly not least, show some gratitude. Let the sellers know that you appreciate the opportunity to bid on their home—and that you're looking forward to hearing back from them. You'd be surprised by the difference that a simple "thank you" can make.
An offer letter may not make or break your chances to purchase a home, but there are still plenty of reasons to write a good one. Chief among them, it could tip the scales in your favour if you're competing with another buyer who's offering a similar amount of money. The bottom line? When you're hoping to secure your dream home, it makes sense to use every tool in your toolbox! To learn more about crafting the ideal offer letter, ask an experienced local real estate agent.
Getting ready to buy your next home? Get in touch—we know the local market, inside and out!