How to Write an Offer Letter that Will Win over a Home Seller’s Heart

Posted by BJ LaVelle on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 at 9:40am.

The dynamics within Minneapolis’ housing market have been in flux since the housing bubble burst in 2008. The ebbs and flows have kept homeowners and homebuyers on their toes, but lately, reports have been showing strong growth and a calmer housing future.Median home prices have been on the rise in Minneapolis, showing more growth than the national average. As any Economics 101 class would teach you, rising prices means heightened demand. 

Many people lost a lot of equity because of the housing crash, which is essentially forcing them to stay put in their homes until the equity is regained. This moving stalemate means fewer people are “upgrading” homes and are instead choosing to stay in their more modest homes. More people staying put means that the demand for starter homes is growing as inventory stays at record lows. 

This bump in demand and a tight inventory means houses are going like hotcakes. You might be touring yet another open house minutes after it started only to learn that an offer has already been made. Home sellers are inundated with offers, which not only makes competition fierce but also risks making the price for your dream three-bedroom, two-bath rambler skyrocket beyond financial reach. Getting beat to the negotiating table by another family on the housing hunt time and time again can be discouraging and tiresome, so how do you make it stop?

 Today, a trend for potential homebuyers who are tired of getting overlooked involves a little elbow grease and a lot of emotional appeal: Write an offer letter to the seller. Putting pencil to paper might not seem like an incredible effort, but creating an emotional plea and bonding with the person selling the home could be exactly what you need to be chosen out of a stack of other competitive offers. Instead of the seller looking at just another potential contract, they’ll be met with a personal insight of how much you love their home and how you deserve to be the next heir to the palace.
 When you want to stand out from a pile of offers from other families, follow these tips to writing an offer letter that is bound to win over the hearts of any home seller. 

5 Tips to Writing the Best Offer Letter 

1. Get Emotional
While it’s acceptable to throw in some talk of terms and money, don’t make the entire letter about how you have cash in hand and can settle immediately. The goal of this letter is to turn you from just another buyer into a full-fledged human and talking money can leave the impression that you’re a little cold. Stoking your letter with a good dose of emotional appeal could have a seller relating to you more than others.
Relay visions of your family playing basketball in the driveway, having sleepovers in the family room or toasting marshmallows over the backyard fire pit. Pick out details of the home that dovetail nicely with your life, showing the seller that their home is truly necessary for your life. Telling them the priceless memories that will be made there could point them in your direction.

2. Keep It Short and Sweet
Since penning offer letters is becoming the trend of today, odds are good that a home seller will be confronted with more than one letter. This means they simply don’t have time to devote to reading your 20-page memoir about how much you need their home. The more your offer letter stretches beyond a page or two, the more likely it is for the seller to lose interest in reading it. 
By keeping your note short and sweet, you’re forced to relay your most poignant messages within the first few sentences of paragraphs. Instead of long-drawn points of emotional appeal, you’ll be more apt to tug on their heartstrings within your letter’s opening statements. Additionally, don’t drown your letter in reasons. Before writing your note, make sure you have your two or three most important points picked out. 

3. Prove Your Commitment
It’s not unusual for a home seller to still feel attached or even territorial of their home through the selling process. After all, they’ve cared for it, repaired it, lived in it and loved it for their time there. They could have raised a family there or gotten married there, and lifetime milestones could be in every room of the house. Because of this, a person’s home often becomes an extension of themselves.
It’s important to tell a seller how you’ll stay as committed as they were to their home. You’ll take care of it, mow the lawn, patch the roof, and more. They’re counting on you to preserve their investment and love it like they did, so explaining your commitment to keeping their home out of disrepair is worth the effort. Don’t talk about how you’re going to change the wall colors, rip out the cabinets or tear up the carpet as this could dissuade them from picking you over someone else who appreciates the work they’ve done.
This mantra is especially true for older or historic homes. For example, sellers of midcentury-modern homes aren’t often willing to give up their well-preserved home to someone who wants to replace the babied 1950’s kitchen appliances with more contemporary options. Instead, let them know you appreciate the home’s unique character as much as they do.

4. Stay Upbeat
Positivity is contagious. If the seller you’re writing to can put the letter down with a smile on their face, you’ve scored some major points. If you go into the letter discussing all of your life’s trials and tribulations, on the other hand, they could end the letter feeling sad or gloomy, which could leave a sour taste in their mouth. Talk about this exciting adventure in your life, the path you’re excited to forge, the memories you’re going to make—optimism at its finest.

5. Don’t Be Generic
Lastly, stand out in your letter. Write the letter specifically for the home you’re interested in. If you simply write one letter and send a copy of it to all of the home sellers you come across, your letter could come off as cold and generic. Be specific in your goals, needs and dreams; tell the seller exactly what you love about their home. Be sure to end your note with a meaningful message too, instead of the all-too-common “sincerely” or “yours truly.”

For Help Landing Your Dream Home, Talk to Roost Today
Roost Real Estate has been pairing house hunters with dream homes for years. We’re well-versed in meeting your needs and helping you through the entire process. Writing an offer letter is something that will have to come from your own heart, but trust us, it’s worth it. Stand out from a sea of offers and let’s find your perfect place to roost. If you want to buy or sell in Minneapolis, call us or send a message. Your adventure is waiting. 

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