This year is going to be tough for home-buyers across the United States. With flattening home prices, millennials on the move, and tight inventory, the pool of buyers in the market will be competing for a small percentage of homes on the market.
With such a strong seller’s market, home-buyers may be wondering how they can be as competitive as possible within their monetary constraints. “If I’m only able to put up X amount and I need to move by Y, and I’m in the middle of a bidding war, what can I do to convince the seller to take my offer?”
One of the strongest weapons in a bidding war is what broker Mary Giovanni at Wayne Realty calls a “love letter” to the seller.
When there are several similar offers on the table, the love letter can be the difference between the seller accepting your offer over someone else’s. Sellers have been known to accept lower offers if they really loved the letter the potential buyer wrote to them. Here are our tips for writing a compelling love letter to the home seller – even if they’re an investor!
Introduce Yourself and Why You Love the Home
You’re a real person with a personal story, not just tax returns and earnest money deposits. Tell the seller about yourself and what drew you to the home. Do you have a personal connection to the neighborhood? Can you see yourself living in the home? When you toured the home, were you drawn in by the tall ceilings and the details the owner clearly maintained over the years? Can you imagine spending holidays, birthdays, and traditions in this home?
Whatever the reason you love the home, tell the seller – but don’t go overboard with flattery. Give enough details about yourself and what buying (and living!) in the home would mean to you. Be honest, and be authentic. Everyone loves a good story – tell the seller about your journey to find this home and why it’s so special.
Make it Personal
Did you notice an Eagles flag in the basement? Were you impressed by the vegetable garden in the backyard, or the woodworking studio in the garage? Maybe you saw evidence of a dog or cat in the home, and you’re a huge animal lover. If you notice things you have in common with the seller, mention them! People like people who like them, so let the seller know that their interests are shared by someone who’d love the home as much as they do.
Dress to Impress
Along with your official offer letter, your love letter is your first impression to the seller. Make sure your letter is formatted properly with correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Create a beautiful letter with attention-grabbing fronts and graphics, but keep the letter to a page to avoid becoming too wordy. At the end, make sure to thank the seller for the time to consider your offer.
Selling and buying a home is an emotional journey. Taking the time to create a personal connection with a seller through a love letter is your secret weapon in a bidding war – don’t be afraid to use it!