The other day I was sitting at a kitchen table reviewing offers from one of my listings. The sellers had a handful to choose from.One offer came with a personal letter to the sellers from the buyers. This is the first time I have seen a letter on the receiving end. I didn’t know how my sellers would react. The attached offer was solid, but not incredible. The husband looks at the wife, than me; “If it were up to me, it would be strictly a financial decision, but my wife is staring at the letter and the attached photo and her heartstrings are being pulled. I guess we will go with the offer that attached the letter.”
From now on, every buyer I work with will be highly encouraged to write a letter. I know it will not work every time, but at least it puts a person behind a contract. Here are some tips on how to write a letter to the seller.
1) Flatter First This is an emotional pitch. They need to like you. Tell the seller how great their taste in color is, how much you’d love to have their lifestyle. Lay it on thick, but keep it sincere. You’re selling, but you don’t want them to feel like they’re being sold a used car.
2) Get To The Point Pick two or three reasons why you will be the best buyer for this home, and make them distinctly recognizable. The more streamlined you make your message, the more memorable it will be.
3) Paint A Picture “I’d be so happy in the summer to be cooking Neapolitan pizza for friends and neighbors in your outdoor wood-fired oven”.
4) Don’t Remodel The House Planning on adding a second story or changing the landscaping? Don’t mention it. You might be correct that the seller’s sewing room would make a great workout room for you, but this isn’t the time. If you’re going to expand to create more bedrooms, you might be changing the seller’s favorite eyebrow windows in the roofline. They may have buried their dog under the tree you’re planning to pave over. The sellers may have awful taste, but homeowners are very protective of their homes.
5) Show Stability Present yourself as a stable buyer who will have no problem closing the purchase. Whether that is a reference to your lack of contingencies, stellar employment record, or commitment to moving in as soon as the sellers are comfortable, ease the sellers’ fears of a shaky transaction.
6) Show Humility At the same time, be humble and ask for the sellers’ blessing on your offer. “We would be so honored to live in your home,” goes much further than “We are confident that you will accept our generous offer.” The ball is in their court, and your letter should acknowledge that.
7) Don’t Whine The emotion of your letter must be upbeat and high. It needs to make the seller feel good. The seller doesn’t care how many other homes you’ve lost out on. They don’t care that your rent just doubled.
8) Close With Clarity Your excitement, motivation, and ability should be reiterated at the end of your letter in a quick recap.Remember that the sellers could be reading a few letters. Make sure that the closing of your letter reminds them of your best qualities and reinforces them.
9) Sign with Appreciation “Thank you so much for your time,” “Thank you for the opportunity,” “Your consideration is greatly appreciated,” or even “We are honored to have the opportunity,” will leave the seller understanding that you value their time and are grateful for it.