Columns
March 29, 2017
link to facebook link to twitter

Real Estate & Business

Scott Sheldon
Heartfelt letter can tip scales in your favor
March 3, 2017

Buying a home in a competitive market means you need to have all of your ducks in a row. You can be successful in this by putting your best foot forward before the starting gate. One way to spruce up your offer is to write a letter to the seller.

All sellers have different reasons and motivations for wanting to sell their home. A major life event may have occurred that has caused them to rethink their life, and selling the house makes the most sense. Someone else may have found their dream home or a better rental and need to sell the one you are looking at.

No matter what has happened, the dollar amount you are offering to purchase their home is going to carry the most significance to the majority of sellers. Making a strong offer with the guidance of your real estate agent and having a solid pre-approval in place is critical for success. Those are the components required to make sure your chances increase of getting an accepted offer.

The reality of it is you do not know the reason why they are selling their home, so a good strategy is to give them the reason why you want it. This additional option is to write a letter to the seller, appealing to their emotional side along with the monetary benefit of your offer. Write a genuine letter about why you are interested in buying their home specifically. What is unique about it that calls to you? Do you see your family here for a long time?

For example, if you really liked the way that the backyard felt and you can see your kids playing here or getting married under a well-groomed tree, this is something to put into words. Make the sellers see you in their home. It sounds sappy, but that type of thing is appealing to the right people. These letters evoke pride for a seller in their home and some gain significant satisfaction from being able to provide a home for a young family who is going to create more happy memories there.

This letter should come from you, not your real estate agent. The agent cannot convey the emotional attachment you feel toward the home the same way you can. If your agent wants to write a companion letter or character profile that is perfectly fine but you want to write a letter that will be meaningful. This letter should be impactful and should compel the seller to choose you.

Talk about your family. Use this letter as a way to introduce yourself and tell the seller about your long-term goals, if you’ve been raised in the area, and share with them why you think their home is the fit for you and yours.

Your offer to purchase someone’s home might look something like this:

• A cover letter from your agent explaining who you are and why they brought you to their home.

 

• A personal and detailed letter from you explaining why you would be a good fit for their home. You may also want to include a photo of you and your family. Add the pets too!

 

• An offer letter and the terms in which you are making to purchase their home.

 

• A pre-approval letter from your lender showing that you are dedicated to buying their home.

 

One additional thing you should consider is to have your lender call the listing agent in order to confirm your ability to purchase and willingness to perform. This is a bonus that can help push your offer over the top as this confirmation proves to the listing agent and sellers that you are serious and well-qualified. 

Communication in every real estate transaction is critical and this proactive approach reduces the amount of vetting that the listing agent has to do on their offers.

 

Scott Sheldon is a local mortgage lender, with a decade of experience helping consumers purchase and refinance primary homes second homes and investment properties. Learn more at www.sonomacountymortgages.com.