March 22, 2022
According to reports, January 2022 was the most ruthless month in US property competitive markets history. Demand and prices were at an all-time high while housing supply was at a record low.
Ordinary American citizens are the obvious underdogs in the bidding wars with investment companies. Home sellers are more willing to negotiate with cash home buyers who are buying the homes as-is with ready money in the bank and almost no questions asked. What are potential buyers to do?
Fortunately, not all home sellers are in it for the speedy transaction. In this cut-throat competition, the average Joe’s secret weapon might be to connect with the seller and appeal to the seller’s emotional attachment to their once dream home through a humble house offer letter.
The question is – how do you write a letter to buy a house? You probably haven’t written a letter since you wrote the cover letter for your current job. But that may be it – writing it from an applicant’s perspective might be a good idea. If you can impress an employer, maybe you can convince a home seller that you’re the right buyer.
How to begin writing a letter to a home seller? First, don’t be afraid of your competitors. We understand that you may feel that this is an uphill battle and that you are losing. Focus on staying positive and remember to be open and friendly while writing a personalized letter to the seller.
Articulate why their house is the perfect home for your growing family to lay down roots, for you and your partner to age. Let them know you hope to treasure it as they have. Communicate from an authentic place and speak from your heart.
Like in a job interview, you want to present the best parts of yourself and your family. Make the seller feel comfortable by not oversharing.
Watch out that you aren’t cold and distant either (in an effort to be respectful). Be confidently you.
Don’t make this another dear home seller letter. Consider addressing the seller by name, even if you have to ask your real estate agent or spend time looking them up online. Share your name as well as the names of those in your household to build a connection and trust.
Avoid writing a stiff real estate offer letter or one of those generic letters to the seller of homes by giving a few small details about your family.
My name is John Doe, a guy with a knack for pancake-flipping, basketball-spinning, and hair-braiding (a requisite as a father of 3 girls). I’m a landscape architect by day, chauffeur to my girls by night, and my wife…well, she’s a graphic designer by trade and the glue that holds us all together.
Notice that the introduction does not jump into buying a house and making or writing an offer. It was a unique and warm letter to the seller that highlights what is true and best about themselves as buyers.
In the next part of your letter to the home seller, you should continue with what you find exciting and relatable in the house for sale. Using our job reference, this is where you tell the employer what you like about the job description and why.
Like in a job interview, don’t tell them how you will change their process or in this case, renovate the house. Tell the seller how you would make the most out of their home.
So in this example:
Our family looked far and wide for a place where we could spread out, where the girls could comfortably surf out their teen years. We wanted a home where we could safely play basketball as a family, host family barbecues, and gather for Sunday dinners. As soon as we pulled into your driveway, tucked perfectly away in the safety of the cul-de-sac, we knew we had found our home.
The long driveway is a prime location for the basketball net and the luscious backyard and covered patio is perfect for those all-important barbecues. When my wife saw the large sit-in kitchen/dining combination, all she could see were our Sunday night dinners and the memories we hope to make there.
What do you think of our letter to the seller from the buyer so far? See how the writer included all the details that make the seller’s home fit with the lifestyle of the buyer? Do you get the understanding that they will value it when it becomes their own? Not one mention of remodeling and renovating or worse, rebuilding.
The aim is for the seller to know that the buyer is serious – in their heart and in their execution plan. Prove that you love the home and that you’re thinking about living there. Why is this the home for you?
At this point, it is time to discuss what you plan to offer on the home. Using our job analogy, this is similar to when you negotiate your salary and show how you can contribute to the company.
Continue your letter to a seller with:
“Nancy, we genuinely love your house and all the little details that make it unique. My family and I are thrilled to make an offer on what we hope will be our forever home.”
We want you to know that we will not only cherish it, but that it is in good hands. We have passed the pre-approval screening by the bank and we have been pre-approved for a home loan for above asking price. My wife and I have stable jobs, and are prepared for the necessary insurance and liabilities associated with homeownership. You need not worry about policy cancellations or foreclosures. If given the opportunity, we will not allow this precious home to slip through our fingers.
After some paperwork, you can confidently turn over the house and get started on your next adventure! We are prepared to move in right away.
It’s clear that the home is well-loved, so we would be excited to take care of the home inspection, mold inspection, and mold removal if needed. What do you say? We couldn’t be more excited to hear your response.
Notice that the tone is sincere, but it is not a demanding, “I want to buy your house letter.” The writer has maintained their respect for the seller and their genuine interest in the property. Financially, they also tick the boxes.
Perhaps they can afford to do the repairs; that’s why they made the offer. Maybe not to be outbid by real estate investors who will buy the house as-is. Are you more confident now about how to write a buyer’s letter?
To end your offer letter to purchase property, you could write about your long-term plans, much like you’d share in a job interview. What are your goals for the future? How do you hope to grow into the role (home?)
Continuing with our example:
Our vision for your house is to make it our family and retirement home, then pass it onto the children. Many generations will benefit from the house you built.
For now, your home will observe countless morning rushes and sleepovers, as well as the days of a couple growing old together and children going and coming home from college.
It will also see barbecues with the neighbors, trick-or-treat stops, and maybe a few garage sales. Above all, it will witness love, friendship, and community with the neighborhood.
We mentioned that the property couldn’t be more perfect for us. The children each have their own rooms. My wife and I have the master’s suite with the giant bathtub. Spot has a dog’s paradise (I think I counted 6 squirrels when we visited). There’s room for my wife’s flower garden, and plenty of space for those Sunday dinners with friends and relatives.
We look forward to all the milestones and moments our family can experience there.”
Does this make a convincing letter for a home offer?
Of course, before sending the offer letter for the house, we highly recommend having an editor go over your letter to check for errors and ineffective emphasis. You want to make an impression and deliver your message accurately. Your realtor can also give advice, especially about the bidding plan.
We hope we have helped you with how to write an offer letter for a house. Remember these tips to help you stand out from the tight property competition.
If the seller rejects your offer after wearing your heart on your sleeve, it’s okay to feel morose. Give time to grieve your dream home. After a while, you can choose another listing or make an offer again on the previous home. If you do continue to pursue the house, here are some steps you can take:
If you get rejected a second time after all of these steps, perhaps it is time to consider other homes in the neighborhood you are eyeing. Remember, it is completely normal not to connect with the seller despite your best efforts. It is also possible that your real estate agent is not on good terms with their realtor, and that will affect your transaction.
The best you can do is give it your best. If you’ve remained positive, respectful, open, and thoughtful, the rest is up to them.
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