Submitting a great real estate offer letter to the home sellers will make your offer stand out from others. There are many factors that go into writing a winning purchase offer. Once you are financially prepared, found your perfect home, and completed your research, you will be ready to submit your best purchase offer. If you have saved a great downpayment, secured mortgage pre-approval, and found a great Realtor® to represent you, your purchase offer will be strong. Want to make your offer even stronger? Including a well-written purchase offer letter will do just that. An experienced Realtor® will help you determine if submitting an offer letter makes sense for the particular offer that you are making.
Here is what goes into writing a winning letter.
Why Include a Letter to the Seller with Your Purchase offer?
Most markets in the United States are still quite competitive with a strong pool of qualified buyers and a low level of inventory (homes on the market). This type of market increases the possibility of multi-offer situations. In this situation, the buyers do not know what the other offers are and the seller gets to choose which offer is best for them. If the purchase price and terms of the offers are similar, the homeowner’s decision could be tilted by a human connection. That is where the offer letter has the most influence on a seller.
Things to Consider
Keep in mind that the house that you are attempting to purchase is most likely much more than that to the current owner. It is their home. It is where they raised their children. Maybe it is the first home they purchased. The home is likely to represent the place where many family events and memories occurred. This is why you should submit a personal letter with your offer to let the seller know who you are and what this home could mean to you and your family. Let them know how much you love the home and what your plans are for living there. If your letter makes that emotional connection, it could compel the seller to choose your offer over another or to accept your offer even though you offered a little less than their asking price.
When to Include an Offer Letter with your Purchase Offer
Always. You should be submitting the real estate offer letter to each and every home seller that you submit a purchase offer to. Whether the seller is a family, a single individual, an investor owner, a financial institution, or someone in a short sale situation, it is important to remember that your letter could possibly sway their decision in a positive way.
Top Elements of the Offer Letter
The offer 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. A lot of 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 your Real Estate Offer 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 Info 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.
Samples of Powerful Statements to Include in your Letter
Capture the emotions of the homeowner with these types of statements and sentiments.
- Nostalgia: “I grew up in this neighborhood and have fond memories of riding my bicycle down to the park with my friends. I know my daughter will love this neighborhood too.”
- Flattery: “We have looked at several homes, but your home is the only one that made us feel that we could be comfortable there right away. It so warm and inviting.”
- Involve the Community: “We met your neighbors and found them to be so friendly. We look forward to meeting all of our neighbors and building great relationships throughout the neighborhood.”
Offer Letter Template
The real estate offer letter does not have to be super formal, but it should look professional. Here is a basic template and style guideline for the letter. Each paragraph should be 3-4 sentences maximum.
[Your City, State, Zip Code]
[Seller’s City, State, Zip Code]
Thank the seller for allowing you to see the home and for their careful consideration of your offer. Briefly describe the top reason why their home is perfect for you and your family.
Introduce yourself and your family. Offer some background and info about you and your family. Explain why you are writing this offer letter. Tell the seller what your motivations are (I.E. growing family, taking a new job in the area, seeking a better school system, etc).
Draw similarities and connect with the seller. Describe the features that you love the most and describe ways those features bring value to you and your family. It is likely that the seller has the same connection with those features.
Highlight your strong financing. Reiterate that you have a big downpayment, and give reasons why you offered so much earnest money. Don’t forget to remind the seller that you are already pre-approved for your mortgage.
Make your final appeal and let the seller know why you are the perfect buyer for their home.
[Your Phone Number]
[Your Email Address]
If you would like to see a sample of a real estate offer letter that led to a buyer getting their offer accepted, click here.
We can help you write your letter and submit it with a strong purchase offer
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