With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought it would be appropriate to talk about love letters in this month’s blog. But these aren’t your traditional love letters! Instead, these are letters home buyers give to sellers to provide a more personal and subjective element to the rather dry and contractual process that is typical of most real estate transactions.
In today’s ultra-competitive real estate market, giving yourself an edge over the other buyers in the market vying for the same house as you can make all the difference in achieving a positive end result. If you think this approach might give you a leg up on your competition, we encourage you to read over the following tips for devising an effective ‘love letter’.
1. Honesty is always the best policy
While you want to make an impact with the home seller you’re writing to, there is little point in being ‘over the top’ and saying things you don’t honestly believe or that just aren’t truthful. If you really love the home, simply tell the sellers why. Just be honest in doing so. If one of the reasons you want the house is because you grew around the corner from it, tell them so. Just don’t make up a story.
2. Be personable
The whole point for writing these love letters in the first place is so the sellers can get to know you a little and learn more about you and your family. Try to paint such a picture so that you come across as a real person as opposed to Tom Cruise! Tell them about yourself and your family so you can make your offer become more than just a piece of paper with a name and a dollar value on it.
3. Be succinct
In today’s always on world, people have shorter attention spans than ever. So a 3,000 word essay on why you have to have this house will likely never get read. Instead, identify the 2-4 key points that might differentiate you from the average buyer and outline why YOU should be the preferred buyer of this home. And don’t be afraid to flatter the seller when writing this letter, just remember to be honest too.
4. Don’t outline your renovations plans
Most sellers love their home and are often emotional about having to move and leave it and all the memories it created. While they’re likely very open to your compliments about their home, they’re unlikely to be interested in hearing the many things you want to do to ‘fix up’ the place. In fact, they’re likely to be offended by such comments, quickly moving you to the bottom of the offer pile!
5. Demonstrate commitment
The one thing many home sellers are wary of in this process is the person that may want to dicker over every last detail of the house, right down to the toilet paper holders. Be sure to clearly articulate your commitment to buying this home from the seller and your interest in completing this process as quickly and efficiently as is possible. By portraying yourself as a reasonable and committed buyer, you will help to alleviate any anxiety and concerns they might have with this transaction.
6. Don’t sound desperate
While you may have lost the last six offers you’ve put in on a house, you likely don’t want to inform the seller of this (unless there’s a very compelling reason why sharing this would be beneficial to you). Simply put, you don’t want to make the sellers feel uncomfortable or feel obliged to you as it may result in the complete opposite reaction as they try to distance themselves from making a financial decision based on such highly charged emotional factors.
There you have it. When writing this letter, please remember to organize your letter effectively, using proper spelling, grammar, punctuation and paragraph formation. The more professional and responsible you sound the more likely the sellers will value you and your offer.
Done effectively, your buyers love letter can be the difference between getting the house of your dreams or having to spend several more weeks driving around town looking and hoping. Good luck!