The Secret to Writing a Fantastic Offer Letter
Clients who are selling their homes have made them theirs and love them dearly. Who homeowners sell their home off to is extremely important to them, and an offer letter can either make or break your deal. Here are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to writing an offer letter.
Here are some phrases in an offer letter to altogether avoid.
“I envision our family celebrating Christmas here.”
Although this phrase brings a vivid picture in our minds of warm, fuzzy, happy times – that may not be the case for everyone. Everybody comes from different walks of life and a big thing to consider is people’s belief system. Some different religious types refrain from celebrating Christmas, and in some cases, individuals look at other people who don’t share the same religious views as unfavourable. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits religious discrimination, and this would evidently apply to home sellers. However, humans have a subconscious and this could ultimately alter a path of a potential deal. It’s safe to say for buyers to abstain from divulging their religious beliefs in the offer letter.
“I can’t wait to completely renovate the kitchen.”
As mentioned previously, who homeowners sell their home to is extremely important to them. Picturing their current kitchen (which to them – endless memories have been created in) to be torn out and wholly remoulded could scare them off from accepting your offer. Human nature is to protect. And whether we’d like to admit it or not, they are protective of their home in some way or another. It’ll benefit you when it comes to the potential deal for you to completely hide the fact you are going to be making significant renovations to their home. You know what they say, “sometimes less said, is better” and in this particular situation – that’s the case.
“Things are finally working out for us – our previous contract fell through”
This phrase is a total no go. Picture yourself in a tough interview with important people. Ask yourself this; would you ever complain about your previous employer or company to the people interviewing you? Let’s hope the answer is no. By doing this, it portrays you as someone who is negative and can’t be trusted within their company – it diminishes your credibility. This scenario and phrase go hand in hand. You want to avoid mentioning this because it raises a giant red flag for sellers. It may cross their mind that you’d potentially walk away from the contract. The safest route for you take is to keep the offer letter positive and upbeat.
“I would do anything in my power to get this house.”
Don’t go overboard with this expression and although it seems as if this phrase would appear as confident, passionate, and driven, it may come across as being desperate to buy the home and that might completely turn off a seller. Another phrase that will construe you as desperate is a phrase along the lines of “our lease is up soon, the faster we get this done, the better.” This phrase can potentially put the seller on defence mode and lead to a dead-end offer.
Buyers’ letters should be less than a page and heartfelt. There is a line you don’t cross when it comes to writing an offer letter, and unfortunately, in this case – it’s thin. It’s better to stay safe and altogether avoid these few phrases that could turn a seller off entirely to the point where they leap right over your offer.
While these are phrases you avoid, here are some tips and tricks for writing a successful offer letter.
- Express how serious you are about the deal. The more credibility you have as a buyer, the better. No one wants a lukewarm buyer.
- Ensure your letter is short and quite frankly, almost less than a page. Since sellers may have multiple offer letters to go through, you want your message to stand out. You want your letter to stick out like a sore thumb, and you will achieve this by having a short and concise offer letter.
- Get personal and emotional (that being said, keep in mind the phrases to avoid above) and appeal to the seller’s emotions. Steer away from numbers and stick to the heart.
- Compliment the home, and while you’re in the house, pay attention to the small things and little details. It’s the little things in life that matter the most and the more complimentary you are, the more you will show the seller that you’ve paid attention to the small details and work they’ve put into the home.
Below is a beautiful example of an offer letter that a buyer succeeded in winning over the home from policygenius.com. This example is a piece worth referencing when writing your offer letter. Pay attention to the small details and little things they noted in the message.
“Dear [Seller’s Name],
Thank you for considering our offer on your beautiful home. We were hoping to get this letter over to you sooner, but got stuck trying to find the right words to convey how much we really loved it.
It’s probably simplest to say we thought [home address] was truly special. Right away, we could really see all the love and care you put into building your home — from the beautiful bamboo floors to the wonderful open living space to the smart doorbell and lovely fenced-in yard. There were just so many features of your home that called out to us.
We’re getting married this October, so we couldn’t help but notice your beautiful wedding and engagement photos on the walls. We’re hoping to host the holidays this year — the first one our families will celebrate together — and we couldn’t help but imagine how wonderful it would be to have our loved ones over in such a bright, open living space. (We envisioned talking to our families gathered in the living room as we finished preparing a holiday feast in the impeccable kitchen.) We also really loved the idea of inviting friends over for a barbecue, gathering everyone around the fire pit in your beautiful backyard.
I’m the Executive Editor of a personal finance website called Credit.com [my job at the time]. (We have an editorial component, but also partner with financial services companies. People can come to our site, get free financial advice, their free credit scores and apply for a credit card or personal loan, if so inclined.) My fiancé Teddy is a substitute teacher and jiu-jitsu instructor. Together, we make a solid living [i.e. we won’t have trouble getting a home loan]. And, as the Executive Editor of Credit.com, I’m very familiar with the mortgage process, so I know what steps to take to ensure smooth sailing, should you decide to take us up on our offer. (I also have really good credit. Nice job perk.)
We understand how stressful moving can be, so we’re flexible as to a closing date. [We knew this was important to the seller who needed time to find their new home once in contract.] We’re on a month-to-month lease right now, so there are no issues logistically for us.
In closing, the home we purchase will be the one we start our family in. We would be so honored to have that home be [address].
Thank you so much for your time and consideration,
Jeanine & Teddy”
Although this may appear like a lot of information to take in, you don’t have to do it alone. At Faris Team, we have a team full of experts in the real estate industry who would be more than happy to answer any questions about writing a fantastic offer letter.
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