The Commonwealth Blog

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The Do's and Don'ts of Writing an Offer Letter

It can be hard to craft an offer letter that sellers will love. You want to be personal without sharing too much information. You want to express what you love about the house and shy away from what you don’t. There’s an art to writing an offer letter that sellers can’t refuse—we’re here to show you.

Don’t Say This

For starters, let’s explore what you shouldn’t do, because saying the wrong thing in an offer letter can hurt your chances of moving into your dream home. Here’s what you should never include in your offer letter to a seller.

Unnecessary Personal Information

Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for a seller to discriminate based on religion, race, sex, disability, or family status, but that won’t always stop them from letting their personal biases influence their decision. Don’t tell a seller more about yourself than you need to, and be extra cautious—even an innocent comment like “We’re excited to celebrate around the Christmas tree next winter” can clue someone in to your religious beliefs, or talking about pets may sour a seller who isn’t a fan of animals.

Your Distaste for Their Décor

It’s never a good idea to talk about all the changes and renovations you plan to make when you move in—the seller may take it as an insult to their taste. Play it safe and be kind: Find ways to compliment all the hard work they put into making this house their home over the years.

Desperation

Looking desperate weakens your negotiating power. Communicating that you need to close the deal quickly because your lease is up soon, for example, may encourage sellers to stick you with a higher asking price while you’re in a tight spot. Your quick timeline may also conflict with their desire for a longer closing period, too.

Avoid highlighting any aspects of the deal where you come up short. Instead, allow your real estate agent to communicate with the listing agent to find ways of tailoring your letter to the seller’s preferences.

Make Sure to Do This

So, how do you make sellers fall in love with your offer letter? Pay attention to your tone and keep things positive.

Personalize Your Letter the Right Way

Make sure your letter is heartfelt and friendly to communicate your true desire to move into this home. Address the seller by name, or if you don't know it, open with a thoughtful greeting (something like “Dear owners of the charming blue house on Maple Lane” will work). You should also write your letter with a pen for good measure. It will stand out from typed letters, which may appear cold compared to your handwritten offer.

State What You Love About the House

Explain what you love most about the seller’s home. If you’re passionate about cooking, for instance, talk about how the kitchen is the perfect size for you and your family, or that you love the backsplash tile and unique decorations. You should also look for ways to connect with the seller on a personal level. If you see a feature in their home that reminds you of your own upbringing or lifestyle, tell them.

Say Thank You

You started with a warm message—end with one, too. Thank the seller for considering your purchase of their beautiful home, and express your desire to hear back from them soon.


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