Finding the right home is hard enough under normal circumstances, and in times of increased competition among buyers, it can be downright frustrating. The current real estate market, which is experiencing a combination of low inventory levels and increased competition from buyers, has become rather difficult to navigate for people who want to buy a house. Homebuyers no longer have the luxury of shopping in an oversaturated market, meaning that, in most areas, the days of quick and easy home sales are long over.
“Dear Seller” Letters:
Considering the competition for available housing, prospective homebuyers have to do everything they can to stand out from the crowd. For some, that even includes sending out letters to homeowners to explain why they should select a particular offer. These “love” letters, which are typically sent through a realtor, often use personal stories and family photos to create an emotional connection between the prospective buyer and seller. The goal is to impress the homeowner, and ultimately, get a deal done.
Patrick Hale, a real estate broker in San Diego, says he encourages his clients to try different things in order to obtain an advantage in the marketplace. “Whatever we can do to make us stand out and make our buyer stand out, whether it works out (or not), we just want to make our buyer have a little leg up on their competition.” Even if sending a letter along with your offer doesn’t make a difference in every case, it’s certainly worth a try.
Newlyweds Adam and Molly Sarasin, who were repeatedly knocked out of the running for houses because of offers made by cash buyers, say they probably wouldn’t have found a home without tugging at people’s heartstrings. “It was exhausting,” explained Adam, 26. “We definitely found that inventory was too low… Competition was way to high.” So, in their letter, the Sarasins explained their situation.
“Adam met a wonderful young woman, Molly, and they will soon be getting married,” read the letter. “They love your house since it is updated on the interior and will have enough room for an office, their bedroom, and what they hope to soon be a baby room.” The letter, written by Sarasin’s realtor, Patrick Hale, helped the couple beat out at least two other offers on the home.
Do it Right:
The cover letters used in home offers generally have certain characteristics in common. Most letters make it a point to provide information about the buyer, covering things like their family status, profession, and area of origin. Cover letters also include financial information, and, in some cases, they even offer perks to the seller, such as covering the costs of closing.
Remember, sending out a poorly written letter can be worse than sending none at all. When writing cover letters, there are a few things to keep in mind. Dave Dennis, a real estate agent in San Diego, says it’s important that you get right to the point when writing your letter. “You need to be brief but strong. You need to stand out amongst a sea of offers.”