Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Maggie Looker
Many housing markets are extremely competitive, with multiple offers coming in for desirable homes, especially moderately priced ones. So, if you find a house that you love, you need to do everything you can to make the strongest possible offer. For years, real estate experts have recommended writing a personal letter to a home seller to explain why you want to buy the house. But in the age of technology, many people wonder, “Do I really need to write a letter to buy a house?” The short answer is yes. A personal letter is your opportunity to make a meaningful connection that motivates the seller to accept your bid. Let’s look at some tips for writing a strong personal letter as well as some special considerations for heroes.
Tell Your Story
Writing a personal letter to a home seller should be just that, personal. You want to stand out from the crowd and give the seller a reason to pick you over every other offer. So be genuine and don’t be afraid to let your personality come through. Talk about what the home would mean to you and your family, the specific things you like about it, your first impression or what you like about the neighborhood. Give the seller confidence that their home would be in good hands with you and go beyond generic statements that could apply to any home to create a letter that is unique and personal to you.
Make a Connection
In addition to telling your story, try to find a way to connect with the seller by highlighting things that may be important or unique to them. Pay attention to small details when touring a home. If you notice they have memorabilia from a certain sports team that you also root for, mention that you’re a fellow fan. Or if they have a large garden and that’s also one of your interests, work that into the letter. The idea is to create a connection that makes the seller want to sell to you and you alone.
Be Positive and Respectful
Keep the letter positive and don’t talk about any past offers that you made on other homes that got rejected. Although it may be true, it can feel like you’re trying to guilt trip the home owners into selling to you. That’s uncomfortable and will likely work against you. Also, when writing a personal letter to a home seller, don’t mention any plans for home renovations. This is still their house after all, and they may not respond well if they knew you were going to rip out the kitchen they love or knock out a wall that used to be part of their child’s bedroom. So, be respectful of their memories and experiences and just keep any remodeling plans to yourself.
If you’re going to write a letter to buy a house, it needs to be brief. Sellers may receive 20 offers and 20 letters, so you don’t want to burden them by going on and on. Keep it short and sweet to increase the likelihood the seller will read it all the way through. Real estate experts suggest limiting your letter to one page.
Considerations for Heroes
Given the current political climate, some people are not as fond of certain hero groups as they used to be. So, if you are in the military or work in law enforcement, you may be hesitant to say what you do for a living in case it works against you. But your letter is your chance to show that you and the people you work with are dedicated individuals who only want the best for your community and work hard every day to make that a reality. There’s no reason you need to hide that.
At the same time, disclosing your profession is by no means required. If you’d prefer not to mention your job, instead focus the bulk of your letter on why specific attributes of the seller’s house would be valuable and important for you and your family. Your real estate agent may be able to provide some insight on who the seller is and what they’re looking for. But follow all the tips above and you should be just fine.
Submitting an offer on a house is always an exciting time for any prospective home buyer. But those who have had an offer rejected know how important it is to come with as strong an offer as possible. While you do not absolutely need to write a letter to buy a house, meaning it’s not a legal requirement, it is a good idea. By telling your story and making a connection with the seller, you can improve your chances and ultimately secure the home of your dreams.
Heroes who buy and/or sell a home using the Homes for Heroes program save an average of $2,400. Register today to connect with a real estate and/or mortgage specialist in the area you want to be.