6 Tips for Writing a Winning Offer Letter in a Hot Market

6 Tips for Writing a Winning Offer Letter in a Hot Market

6 Tips for Writing a Winning Offer Letter in a Hot Market

When you find a house you like within a competitive real estate market, your main goal should be to stand out among the other potential buyers positively. Doing something different and appealing as a person to the seller is your best bet when it comes to achieving the best possible outcome.

Pen and paper for writing an offer letter

One of the best ways to do all of this is by writing a winning offer letter along with your basic financial offer for the seller’s home. When a seller receives a carefully constructed and thoughtful offer letter after putting their home on the market, it adds a feeling of courtesy to what is usually a fast-paced, heartless, and purely transactional process.

What is a house offer letter?

At its core, a house offer letter is a letter that a home buyer writes expressing why they are interested in a seller’s home. In general, it’s comprised of three main elements. An introduction to who you and/or your family are, an explanation of your plans for the home, and the offer itself. Further in the article, we will cover some tips and give you ideas of what exactly each of these elements should look like. But, for a quick example, it’s common for buyers to acknowledge everything that they already like about the home and follow up with plans on how they would further personalize it after they move in. You could say that you were drawn to the big yard for your kids and plan on building a play set for them.

One thing to note is that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one “offer letter basket.” You should look at this document as an addition to your general offer, which is simply meant to help separate your offer from the pack and make it stand out. It’s supposed to give you a leg up on the competition in a hot market. But writing it shouldn’t be a stressful endeavor.

1. Address the seller directly and open with an introduction

The first part of your introduction in the letter is properly addressing the seller. Of course, in the best-case scenario, you’ll know the seller’s name and be able to address them directly. However, in some cases, this won’t be possible. But you shouldn’t worry; there are still several ways to address the seller directly and personally without calling them out by their name. As long as you avoid the basic, insincere buzz phrases, such as “To whom it may concern,” or overly simple phrases, like “Dear homeowner,” you’ll already be able to start strong.

Two people shaking hands

Try to make your introduction personal. As if you’re shaking their hand and meeting in person.

In the second part, you should introduce yourself and anyone else included in your side of the sale. The best tactic for this is to imagine that you’re shaking their hand and introducing yourself in person. Write down the first few things that come to mind since those instinctive thoughts will usually be the most honest and personal.

2. Explain what caught your eye about the home

An integral part of writing a winning offer letter is giving the seller an image of why you enjoyed their home and how you will be using it. For example, suppose you’re moving in with a family. In that case, you can express how you are the qualities that make a house great for families in their house, whether it’s the large yard where you can spend time outside with your family pet or the mid-century modern design that perfectly fits your style. This part of the letter is meant to explain the connection you felt with the home the moment you saw it.

Don’t be fake

Keep in mind that your house offer letter will feel very insincere if you only adorn their home with a bunch of compliments and pretend everything in it is perfect. It’s fine to highlight some things you thought were negative about the home. But it’s crucial to follow any criticism with a solution you’ve already considered.

A great example that experts from nycministorage.com can you give you is that if you notice a significant lack of storage within the home, you can express that and then follow it up with the fact that such a small issue is, easy to overlook compared to all the positives within the home. An example of what you could say is – “Leasing a nearby storage unit to compensate for the lack of storage space would be more than worth it for the incredible amount of gorgeous yard space your home has to offer.”

3. Find some common ground with the seller

This is another moment in your letter where you can create a more personal connection with the seller. You want them to resonate more easily with you as the buyer. A great tip for doing this is to try and remember something specific you saw in the home that is similar to what you do. Perhaps you noticed a workbench where they engage in the same hobby as you. Or you can appeal to your similar sense of style for interior design.

4. Present your offer straightforwardly

Now that you have established a bit of a closer connection with the home and the seller, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of the offer. While other parts of your offer letter should be personal and have some writer flourish, your financial offer should be fairly straightforward and well thought out. The point of this letter was to offer some context for why you chose home rather than simply sending over a soulless numeric value.

Remember to think this part through carefully with your real estate agent. Consider every aspect of your financial position during the sale. Remember the hidden and forgotten costs of moving and closing the deal. After you take these into account, you can make an accurate proposition of exactly how much you can offer to the seller.

A person holding hundred-dollar bills

When discussing your financial offer, you should be straightforward.

5. Explain any contingencies

This is another part of your letter that should be a bit more upfront and direct. If you have any contingencies regarding the sale or worries about the home, you should address them in the letter now rather than wait for it to be an actual problem. The point is to be clear and concise about these things. For example, if you’re worried about a lack of water pressure in the kitchen sink that you noticed, you should note it right away. Explain that while you are still looking at the home in an overwhelmingly positive light, you would like to see something like that water pressure issue handled before going further with your offer.

6. Go back to the friendly speech when concluding the letter

As a final tip, we would like to remind you that at the end of the day, you want this person to be glad to work with you. While the previous two tips did turn toward serious and straightforward speech, when you’re closing your letter, you should go back to a friendly demeanor. Remember to politely thank the seller for taking the time to read your letter and hopefully consider your offer. And you can also close with a suggestion by saying that you’re looking forward to hearing back from them.

A thank you card on a table

Try not to make the end sound like a basic thank you card — be personal.

Writing a winning offer letter isn’t one size fits all

Some of the defining features of an offer letter should be the following:

  1. Short
  2. Simple
  3. Sincere
  4. Neat
  5. Organized
  6. Error-free

However, this isn’t a one size fits all process. Make sure to choose the right real estate agent who will help you discern not just how you should be writing a winning offer letter but also whether you should be doing it at all. A good house offer letter can be the difference between getting and missing out on the home of your dreams in a hot market. Some sellers will respond better to offer letters with as much personal information about you as possible, while others prefer hearing about what you plan to do with their home. But, in some cases, if the seller is a get-down-to-business type of person, a good real estate agent might have to steer you away from writing an offer letter at all.

By Mary Aspen Richardson

If you are thinking of Selling click here for a FREE PROPERTY APPRAISAL 


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