Wooing the Seller

I like to think of myself as a real estate enabler.

That means I enable people to achieve their home ownership dreams with my personal and professional knowledge and experience. Some days, it means showing homes and other days it means drawing up contracts but my day always starts with reading a few real estate articles. Today I read an article by Tara-Nicholle Nelson from Trulia titled, Six Elements of a compelling seller love letter, and it was funny because I didn’t realize what I was about to discover. You see, I like to have my buyers write a letter to sellers explaining who they are and why they want to buy the house they are putting an offer on and that is what I expected this article to be about. Instead, the article was about SELLERs writing a letter to BUYERs! You can read that article here…

What is ironic about this is that I have never thought of a seller presenting my buyers an article telling about their home and the wonderful stories and memories that home has but it made me wonder if my clients would buy a house that had a letter attached to the listing detail over a home that did not. I can say that when my buyers have put letters on their offer they have faired quite well in the purchase process because it allows the seller to see who they are talking with and what my clients see in their house. Let’s face it, we all want to be complimented to an extent but when we are talking about sellers and their home, nothing makes them happier than a buyer paying them compliments… well maybe a buyer paying them a lot of money but let’s not go there today.

When a buyer gives a brief description of who they are, where they are coming from with this offer and their plans for the home and why they love it, it leaves a lasting impression on the seller. If the seller has multiple offers that are pretty close or comparable they (based on my experiences) tend to go with the buyer that has a story. I can only think of handfull of times when a buyer’s letter did not get them the house and each time it was because our offer got completely blown out of the water by somebody willing to give WELL above asking price. (buyers, I generally do not advise offering well over asking price) Here are a few things to think about if you are planning on writing a letter to a seller.

  1. Greeting with compliments on their home
  2. Explain who you are (name, let them know you have a family [room mate, dog etc], hobbies, career
  3. Tell them what your plans for the home are
  4. Inform them that you are qualified, ready and excited to love their home the same way that they have.
  5. Thank them for considering your offer and hopefully accepting the contract.

If you didin’t notice, the acronym is GET IT. The letter is meant to Greet, Explain, Tell, Inform and Thank them so that they learn about you, your intentions, your preparedness to be the next homeowner at 123 Their St. and thank them for considering your offer more carefully.  A simple, direct, one page letter is plenty to get your foot in the door with any warm blooded seller. If you’re dealing with banks, that’s a different story and you have a lot more hurdles to get through. The letter might get to the negotiator but often times will not.

Alright guys, don’t forget… GET IT!

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