Your buyer submitting a great personal letter to the seller will make their offer stand out from others.
Tips to Share with Your Buyer
Top Elements of the Letter
The ‘Dear Seller Letter’ is essentially marketing your offer to the homeowner. The purpose of the letter is to add a human story to the offer. There are several things that you will want to include and key in on to make your letter compelling.
- A Photo: Including a photo is powerful. It helps to put a face (or faces) to the story. This visual piece is most compelling when it is a young couple or a family with children.
- Compliments, Compliments, Compliments: Most homeowners have performed specific modifications or upgrades to their home they are very proud of. Your letter should mention the different features that you love about the home. Tell the homeowner how much you love the custom wood floors or the fruit trees and landscaping in the back yard. If you had a chance to speak to the owner during your initial walk-through of the home or during an open house, they may have mentioned some of the modifications and upgrades that they are most proud of. Be sure to highlight those and compliment them.
- Authenticity and Connection: Let the seller know why you want to buy their home. Tell them what it means to you and your family. Attempt to find a common ground that you may have with them. Perhaps it is a family lifestyle or a similar career field, or maybe it is an affinity for similar things in life.
- Highlight the Financing: If you are coming to the table with all of your financial ‘ducks in a row’, then you may want to bring that to the seller’s attention. Remind them how strong your financing is. If you know there are other offers on the table, you may want to acknowledge the home’s market value and explain how you came to your offer.
- Keep it Short and Sweet: Keep in mind what the goal of this letter is. You want to let the seller know who you are, what the home means to you, and give them reasons why they should select you as the next owner of the home. This goal can be achieved without rambling on and on about your life story. An effective offer letter should be no more than one page.
Things to Leave Out of the Letter
- Changes You Want to Make to the Home: Telling the homeowner about all the big changes you would like to make to their beloved home is not going to help you. This could come across as insulting or may give the impression that you do not like the upgrades they made.
- How Much You Can REALLY Afford: The offer letter is not the forum for divulging unnecessary financial information. So, don’t tell the seller that you can afford to pay more.
- Anything Negative: Leave out comments that can be viewed as negative, complaining, or pressuring. Your letter should paint a really positive picture and contain emotion relative to the home itself (not the transaction). You have a Realtor to handle the ins and outs of the process and for negotiating. Let them play “bad cop”.
- Unnecessary Personal Information or Opinions: Your offer letter should be somewhat personal, but not too personal. Steer clear of offering personal information or opinions that could trigger a disconnect from the seller. For example, you may not want to send your child to the local charter school because you feel their teaching curriculum is ‘too liberal’. Offering up this opinion does not help you achieve the overall goal of the letter. You also risk offending the seller if they don’t share that same opinion.