You’ve found the house of your dreams and you’re ready to make an offer but how do you compete with other prospective buyers who’ve also deemed the home the one? This is a dilemma buyers are facing all over the country in today’s fast-paced, low-inventory housing market. The reality is, you aren’t always going to be able to submit the highest real estate offer for your dream home. Rather than being disappointed, speak to a financial advisor along with a mortgage broker to understand the financial implications of buying a home, then work with your real estate agent to write a winning real estate offer letter.
Fortunately, there are ways to make your real estate offer letter more competitive when more cash isn’t an option. Most real estate agents say letters is one of the best ways to support a bid. The letter gives buyers the opportunity to connect with the sellers on a personal level. In the letter, explain why their home is best for you and your family. That human connection, real estate agents say, can sometimes even trump a higher price for sellers.
Real Estate Offer Letter: Real-life experience
Shanna Tingom of Heritage Financial Strategies tells the story of when her brother Marc and his wife Katherine purchased a home recently.
“My brother and sister-in-law are moving from Durango, Colorado, to Akron, Ohio for an amazing job opportunity for my brother, who is a music educator and college administrator. They flew out to look at homes for a few days. On the first morning, they found their perfect home. The house had lots of activity; there were two offers in addition to theirs. Marc and Katherine sweetened the deal as much as they could financially. Their real estate agents suggested they write a letter the sellers about how much they loved the home and would love to see their family (my nephew and I’ll be an aunt again this fall!) move in and grow up there. As a result, they won the bid and are excited to move into the house!”
Tips for Writing a Winning Real Estate Offer Letter
While every letter doesn’t get the results the buyer desires, there are tips for writing a winning real estate offer letter than we cannot ignore.
Format the Offer Letter to Make It Stand Out
As real estate offer letters become more and more common, you have to find a way to make yours stand out. Think of it as a resume. A beautiful letter with attention-grabbing fonts is going to jump out next to other letters. Need inspiration? Check out this beautifully formatted offer letter that won this couple their home.
Explain What You Love About the House
Don’t just tell the sellers you want their house, tell them why you want it. Whether it was a big backyard, a chef’s kitchen or a walk-in closet that grabbed your attention, the owners will be flattered to hear what you liked most about their home.
Make a Personal Connection
Though it may sound silly, bonds can easily be built over a mutual love for cats, or a favorite team, or whatever it may be. If you share a common value or hobby with the sellers, mention it. It’s an easy way to make yourself more relatable, and will also show that you’re not sending a generic letter with every offer you submit.
“A couple of clients of mine had a cat that had been recently diagnosed with diabetes,” says real estate agent Cheryl Demarco, “They fell in love with a house and discovered that its owners also had cats. In their offer letter, they told the sellers how perfect the home was for them and their disabled kitty. The letter included that the small pantry in front of the bathroom is a perfect place for all of his new supplies and medications. My clients won the home in a multiple offer situation.”
Print a Hard Copy of the Offer for the Sellers
Think about how many emails you receive daily versus how many hard-copy letters you get. If you send your real estate offer letter through email, you run the risk of it going to spam or being quickly buried beneath other emails. Instead, agents recommend leaving a hard copy of the letter on the seller’s’ kitchen counter during a showing. However, they advise you only do this if you know the owners still live there and will see it, as opposed to it being a vacant home and if there are no other showings after you. A subsequent agent could see it and possibly remove it. This shows initiative on your part.
In a tight real estate market, writing a personalized real estate offer letter could be the difference in getting the offer on your dream home a reality.
Guest Blogger Angie Bersin is part of the content marketing team at REDFIN. She enjoys writing about home decor and real estate trends. As a long-term Seattleite, Angie enjoys traveling the globe to find content inspiration. Her dream home would be an urban loft filled with natural light, high ceilings, and an open floor plan.
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