Does including a personal letter with your offer matter when purchasing a home? You bet it does!
Remember, most sellers love their homes and have an emotional attachment to the place they may have raised a family, enjoyed great friends and gatherings or watched a puppy become a dog in. When choosing among several offers a seller will certainly remember a personal message from an eager buyer. Here are some do’s and don’ts to think about when crafting a letter to present with your offer.
1. Make it personal to the house or condo that you are offering on
Whatever sold you on the house should be highlighted. For example, you can picture your family in the large yard, placing a tire swing on a big oak tree and enjoying summer days with your children there. Or, you envisioned having to throw out all your old trophies from your days as the star athlete at your high school and the storage in the home will allow you to keep all those great memories (and prove that you didn’t imagine it all!)
2. Don't whine
So, this is the 10th house you are making an offer on and your lease is expiring next month. No seller likes to feel bad about not taking an offer. Your offer will most certainly be shunned if you try to guilt them into taking it.
3. Hand write the letter
Buying a piece of stationery and using your best handwriting really ads a personal touch they won’t forget unlike using Microsoft Word! Remember, a handwritten note shows that you took the time and that the offer is important to you.
4. Don't mention how you plan to renovate
Ok, so the built-in cabinet that holds the 27” TV is a bit ugly and dated. The shag rugs are also not going to make the cut when you move in. No need to tell the seller that you will rip out the built-in and pull up the carpeting and replace it with gleaming hardwoods and a huge 60” plasma TV! This will surely put your offer at the bottom of the pile. No seller likes to hear that their taste is not good or that their decorating is ugly.
In sum, a personal letter can only be a positive if you follow the steps above. Keep it to a paragraph or two. Have a neutral person proofread it. Would they be swayed if they had five competing offers?