Here's why writing a letter to the seller matters and how to tell your story
We're often asked if writing a letter to the seller to accompany your offer is a good idea. Our answer: YES! We have had clients who's offer has been accepted because their letter struck a chord with the seller, and we've also represented sellers that have solidified their choice based on the buyers letter. While home sellers are usually very financially motivated on who will pay the most, owners still want to see their home go to someone who will love the home the way they did. And a home 'love letter' can also help convince the seller that you're sure about your offer and won't back out of the transaction from getting cold feet.
While a letter to the seller can help edge you above the competition, it can also work against you if there are red-flags or if it reads insincere. Here's our tips and ideas to think about when writing a letter that will help seal the deal!
Share what you love about the home
Your goal is to get the seller on your team and rooting for you! One thing you share in common with the seller (hopefully), is that you both love the home. Tell them how you fell in love with the home. Is it the beautiful landscaping, the old home charm, the neighborhood walkability? What you love about the home, they probably do too! If you think something has been taken care of really well, let them know. Everyone loves an honest compliment.
You can help the seller feel safe in picking your offer by telling them how much you love the home. Sellers want to make sure they select an offer from someone who won't back out from minor issues that can come up during the inspection period. This is a good way to let them know you're a safe pick.
Share [a little bit of] your story
Buying a home usually comes during a big change in life. Whether you're a first-time-homebuyer and ready to step into ownership, have a growing family, downsizing, upsizing - you have a good story to tell! Share your story -- but not too much. We find that the best letters are focused on how the home and neighborhood will be a great fit for you, but not all about you. While we want you to share how cute you are, make sure it's relevant to the home.
Share a photo
People love to put a face to a name. Share a cute photo to help personalize the offer you are submitting.
At the end of the day, the best house love letter you can write is honest and sincere. There's a great reason you're writing an offer on the home, let that reason shine through.
Stay away from being too formal
To whom it may concern: please do not write your letter too stiff and formal. You want the seller to like you, not hire you as their corporate attorney. We've represented sellers that have been turned off by buyers letters that they think are phony. They laughed as they read "we will treat your residence with the utmost respect and ...". Let your emotion and humanness shine through in your letter.
Try not to raise any red flags
Be conscious of what could be a potential red flag to the seller. Telling the seller how health conscious you are could backfire if they wonder how concerned you'll be about the potential lead paint or asbestos your inspector will point out because it's an old home.