What goes into a great offer letter?

How to write a winning offer letter

Once you've found a home you want to buy and have decided to make an offer, it's time to consider writing an offer letter. You're forging an emotional connection with the present homeowner, which is an especially important step when you're dealing with an individual seller instead of a company. Becoming skilled at crafting what's sometimes also called a "personal letter" is worth some time and effort. A thoughtful letter gets negotiations off to a great start, and can help you close the deal.

While crafting a compelling letter is most important in markets where you expect to encounter tough competition from other potential buyers, it's a relevant part of the buying process in virtually all house-hunting situations. Homeowners create a special bond with their houses, especially if they or their families have lived there for years. By presenting yourself as a person rather than a faceless buyer, you stand a better chance of reaching the seller. The following are a few ways to ensure your letter is appreciated by a seller and presents your offer in the best possible light.

Customize your letter

Your offer letter is your big introduction to a home's current owner, and it should say something about who you are. The personal touch goes a long way. Some winning bidders have found success by even including a family photo!

As with cover letters on job applications, writing one generic piece and sending it to multiple recipients is unlikely to help your cause. Bankrate specified that it's much better to be specific, personal and complimentary about the property than to send out a brusque or boring letter that could apply to any house. SmartAsset noted that the greeting at the top of your letter should definitely be personalized, and use the seller's name. "Dear seller" is an uninspiring way to start such an important piece of correspondence.

You should feel free to go into detail about the parts of the house you like best. This shows that you are actually interested in the house in question, rather than sending out a pile of offer letters to every local home for sale. SmartAsset added that when you describe your attraction to specific features of the home, and point out how well-kept they are, you may flatter the homeowner a bit, boosting your candidacy.

Position yourself to win a competition

When there are multiple offers for a home, sellers will compare letters to aid in their decision. In a tight market for the house, with many potential buyers capable of making similar financial commitments, the individual who offered up the clearest and most compelling personal letter may hold an advantage.

SmartAsset pointed out that writing a short and impactful letter is also a great way to state your case among multiple offers. Homeowners who have to read several letters may naturally gravitate to those that make their points quickly and clearly. Great letter writing is a balancing act, as you strive to put some of your personality into the finished product while not getting bogged down in lengthy passages that will make readers stop focusing.

Start thinking about buying a home

When it's time to enter the housing market, your offer letter isn't the only document that may help you get into a dream home quickly. If you apply for pre-qualification for a mortgage, you can show home sellers that you have the financial resources to follow through on your offer, increasing their confidence in making a deal with you.

Do you have more questions? Contact the loan officer who shared this blog post or send us a message.

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