Sometimes an offer letter is the key to submitting the winning offer. With that in mind, if you're going to include a letter with your purchase offer, you'll want to be sure that it's effective. To that end, we've brought you some tips on how to write the perfect real estate offer letter. Read them over to learn more.
Why does a buyer write an offer letter to a home seller?
Put simply, writing a letter to the home seller is meant to help your offer stand out from the crowd. Most often, this strategy is used when there are multiple offers on the table and the buyers feel that they need something extra to set themselves apart.
However, offer letters aren't just used in situations where there is a bidding war. Sometimes, when buyers fall in love with a home, they will include a letter to try to convince the sellers to accept their offer.
At its core, including a letter as part of your purchase offer makes your offer feel more personal. The reality is that most sellers have an emotional connection to their homes, especially if they've lived there for a long time, and picking the winning offer can be an emotional process.
Rather than simply being concerned about picking the offer with the highest purchase price -- though that is a factor -- many sellers want to feel confident that their home is going to someone who will appreciate it in the same way that they have over the years. Your letter can be their reassurance.
What should you include in a real estate offer letter?
Believe it or not, the most effective real estate offer letters follow a similar formula. With that in mind, below is a list of the key components you should be sure to include in your letter, as well as an explanation as to why they make all the difference.
Start with gratitude
Open up your letter by thanking the sellers for giving you the opportunity to view their home.
Often, the home-selling process can be hard on sellers. Not only is letting go of their home an emotional process, but every time a showing is scheduled, they have to drop what they're doing and leave their home so that the buyers have a chance to walk through unhindered. In that respect, letting them know that you acknowledge and appreciate their efforts is a nice way to get the ball rolling.
Highlight your favorite features
Everyone likes to be complimented. To that end, it's a good idea to take the time to expand on what you really love about the property.
What was it that made you decide to submit an offer in the first place? For example, if you felt that the home was very welcoming, say so. If you loved the amount of natural light you saw during your showing, be sure to mention that, too.
The caveat here is that your letter should feel genuine. Don't try to be overly effusive or to pump up the seller with false adulation. Unfortunately, doing so has a tendency to come off as insincere, which can end up having the opposite effect as was intended.
After that, the next step in this process is to open up and share some information about yourself or your family. Essentially, you'll want to use this part of your offer letter to paint a picture of how you envision yourself living in the home.
Remember, sellers want to know that they're leaving their home in good hands. Your goal should be to try and convince them that you're the perfect person for the job. In this instance, you might mention that you're a first-time homebuyer who's been searching for the perfect place to create a home of your own or that you're a growing family who's ready to move into your forever home.
In addition, while it's not required, you may want to consider including a family photo in your letter to the home seller. Your photo will make it even easier for the sellers to picture who could potentially be their home's next owner.
Find a common thread
If at all possible, you should also try and find a common thread between you and the seller. While you likely don't know each other personally, your goal should be to try and establish a relationship between the two of you. Commonalities between buyer and seller often serve as a starting point for negotiations.
Do your best to think of something you saw while touring the home that reminded you of your own circumstances. Maybe you saw family photos and know that the sellers also have a boy and a girl, or maybe you both have pets. If you can't think of anything, your buyer's agent may be able to help the process along by getting some details about the sellers from the listing agent.
Wrap it up
Once you've found something you have in common, start to wrap up the letter. Thank the sellers again for their generosity, remind them that you're seriously interested in buying the home, and finish by saying that you hope you can find a way to work together.
Overall, your letter of intent should be fairly brief, no more than a page long in total. You'll want to keep it short and to the point so your message doesn't get lost.
What should you leave out of a real estate offer letter?
That said, there are also a few things you should be sure to leave out of your offer letter. Some details, while important to you, may turn off the sellers. Here are a few details that shouldn't make the cut:
Renovations you intend to complete
Most sellers have worked hard to create the home you saw during your showing. While their kitchen and bathrooms may not be to your personal tastes, you shouldn't mention that you intend to do major renovations if your offer is selected. Even though those thoughts are likely well-intentioned, you may end up accidentally insulting the sellers.
Your bottom line
Your real estate agent is going to package your letter with all the other components of your offer, including your pre-approval and the agreement that shows your proposed purchase price. Since the seller has likely already seen this information, you don't need to spend your letter rehashing financial details.
While the rest of your purchase offer is governed by your brain, your offer letter should come from your heart.
Example of an offer letter to home sellers
In case you need some inspiration, we've provided an example letter below. Use it to help you get started, but be sure to make it your own before it gets delivered to the sellers.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. [Sellers' Last Name],
Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to tour your home this past weekend. After our showing we couldn't stop talking about how charming it was and about all the little details that pointed to the home's history, especially the built-in bookcases and the coffered ceilings.
My husband and I have been in the market for a new house for a little while. We got married this past year and are getting ready to start our family, but before we do, we would like to find our forever home. Your property was the first place where we could really picture ourselves raising little ones.
In particular, we couldn't help but notice all the family photos hanging on the walls. It seems like you've created many years of memories in this house, and we would love the chance to do the same.
Thank you again for opening up your home to us. We'd be honored to be given the chance to become its next owners.
The bottom line
Sometimes a letter can bring a touch of your personality into your real estate offer and help make sure it stands out from the crowd. With that in mind, use the tips above as a guide to writing an offer letter of your own. With any luck, when you're done, your letter will be the thing that helps you submit the winning offer.
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