If you’ve ever experienced the disappointment of losing out on a home in a seller’s market, you want to do everything possible to keep it from happening again. One tactic many buyers overlook is the “love letter” written to sellers about their home.
Rationally, you might expect the highest offer will always win the home, but there are a host of other factors involved. Some are emotional. Some sellers want to see their home go to a buyer they not only trust to close the deal, but they also like personally.
Want to give yourself an edge? Craft a short “love letter” to go with your offer. Here are the basics you’ll want to cover in your letter:
1. Explain how much you like their home. Don’t go overboard, but prove to them you know the home and you truly appreciate their taste and the unique characteristics of the house. This might touch on improvements they’ve made or other aesthetic details.
2. Spare them all the things you might want to change. What you say is as important as what you don’t say. Don’t tell them you’re going to gut the place as soon as you close, add a second story, or rip out their garden for a pool.
3. Demonstrate you’re qualified to close. Make them feel confident in your qualifications as a buyer. Show them you’re pre-qualified for a loan, are buying cash, or have other reasons why you’ll be a hassle-free buyer.
4. Be humble and positive. Don’t give them a sob story about the four other homes you’ve lost out on. Praise the neighborhood and make them feel as though you would be positively honored to be chosen as the next owner of their home.
5. Check the letter for typos. Read it out loud. Listen for clunky sentences or awkward repetition. Have someone proof it for mistakes. Their confidence in your attention to detail is important.
A good agent should be able to tell you if the letter sounds like an honest appeal. Have it included with your offer as a cover letter.
Need help finding a home worth a love letter? Get in touch today:
Monday, May 19, 2014
Friday, May 16, 2014
It starts innocently enough... you pass a house in a neighborhood you like, you hear someone is selling their home, you happen to look up home prices online. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in home shopping and open house visits. This can actually be exceedingly dangerous to your financial future.
Falling in love with a home before you actually know what you want in a home is risky. To avoid the “buy first, think later” syndrome that burdens family finances, marriages, and work life, ask yourself these important questions:
1. How much do we want to spend each month on home expenses? There’s a tendency for people who shop first to try and “make the math work” on purchasing a home. Often this leads to stretching the home budget and ignoring crucial expenses such as maintenance and property taxes in order to “make the mortgage.” Determine a comfortable, conservative range for home expenses first.
2. Which neighborhoods make sense from multiple angles? You may love a neighborhood for its leafy streets and family-friendly atmosphere, but what if it adds thirty minutes to your commute? Are the schools good? What are the crime stats like? What’s the walkability score? Don’t view a neighborhood with rose-colored glasses based on a single quality you like.
3. What’s a priority and what’s a nice extra? You may think you want extra bedrooms for guests and a home office, but which one is more important? Rank the must haves against the “nice to haves.”
4. What’s our long-term ownership picture look like? Are you settling in for ten years, or do you suspect you’ll need to move in four? While you can’t predict the future, you can make some estimates. Those estimates will help you understand how much home you should buy, what kind of down-payment you’ll want to have, and what the picture might look like in terms of renovations.
5. When can you move vs. when would you like to move? Rental leases, selling your current home, and job and schooling factors all impact the timeline for a purchase. Wrap your head around the pragmatic timeline as best you can.
I’m more than happy to help you think these through. Contact me for help today: