Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Submitting a Buyer Letter with your Offer

Posted in House Hunting,Offers,Psychological Stuff by Jeff Dowler on April 12, 2007

Buyers often ask me if they should submit a personal letter with their offer, as a way of personalizing the proposal to the sellers. This is a good question, and it really depends on the situation.

I have done this successfully in a number of situations, especially when there are multiple offers being considered. While sellers are, naturally, concerned about the offer itself (especially the dollar amount), they may be drawn to a buyer whose offer is very competitive but who also submits a letter describing why they love the house, why it works for the family’s needs, and so on. Many sellers are very attached to their homes; have fond memories of loiving there, and feel a personal loss in selling. So someone who comes along that appears to love the home as much as them tends to be appealing, even if the offer is not the highest amount or full price. There is a definite psychological and emotional component of a sale for many sellers, and a letter can appeal for those reasons.

In cases where money IS the only real issue, or the home is a rental and owned as an investment, then a letter is probably not going to make a difference, since the seller only is worried about how much, rather than who.

Even if yours is the only offer, a personal letter MAY make a difference, or at least make the seller feel more comfortable about a less-than-full price offer, and therefore open to negotiation.

But if your offer is quite low, it is doubtful that any letter is going to make a difference. Money still speaks loud and clear to sellers, especially in this market. Submitting a letter could have the opposite effect – after all, if you love the home THAT MUCH, why are you submitting such a low offer?


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