Real Estate’s Golden Ticket: The Buyer Letter

Buying

This year I have gotten several of my clients their dream home without presenting the highest bid. How did we do it? The buyer letter.

These clients knew they’d found their dream home the moment they laid eyes on it. The problem was that other people were interested too. Somehow they had to outdo the competition without undoing their budget.

I suggested they write a buyer letter - a personal note to the seller introducing themselves explaining why this was the house for them. By making an emotional pitch and setting themselves apart from the other offers on the table, they were able to win their homes.

Right now in West Chester, we have a seller’s market. The active inventory of homes is down, and listings spend far less time on the market than in years past. I often see scores of offers sent in on Open House day alone. Buyer letters are an advantage in this fast-paced, competitive market because they stand out and appeal to the person behind the listing.

Whether it’s new construction by a local developer or an older house where a family grew up, every home has a story. What your buyer letter must do is convince the seller that you ought to have the next chapter.

Here are some winning approaches to writing a buyer letter that stands out and can help you score you the house of your dreams.

Make It About Them

“We have looked at many houses over the past year, but none has spoken to us quite like yours. It is clear this home has been cherished by your family and that a lot of thought has gone into the changes you’ve made over the years. From the beautifully restored hardwood floors to the carefully designed addition in the back, we admire the way you have preserved its historic charm while also making it a modern and functional dwelling.”

By focusing on what the seller has done with the home, you honor their ownership. Sincere compliments about specific features show your appreciation of all of the work the seller has put into their home. It can be an emotional parting for them, and this kind of empathetic, complimentary gesture makes you an appealing buyer.

Notice and record the details you like during your showing.
Ask about upgrades and changes the seller has made.
Find out how long they have owned the home and why they’re selling it.
Consider the upgrades, maintenance, and TLC that’s gone into the house and point it out in your letter.

 Introduce The Whole Gang

“Keith works as a paralegal in the borough and dreams of a walkable commute and lunch breaks at home. I am a freelance graphic designer and expecting our first child this March. We can’t wait to bring our daughter to the many festive events in town and know she’ll benefit from the wonderful school district. Sammy, our 8-year-old labrador, is most excited about the park just down the street and envisions naps by the bay window.”

Whether it’ll be just you living there, or your huge family brood, sellers are curious about who’s taking the reins of ownership. It feels better to accept an offer from a person you know about and like than from a stranger.

Little ones and family pets get you extra points because they allow sellers to envision their home as a place that will nurture and shelter for years to come.

Be clear and concise in your introduction, offering highlights of yourselves rather than lengthy descriptions.
Connect your lifestyle to what the house and neighborhood have to offer.
Find a great photo of yourself that allows the seller to make a connection.
To showcase yourselves, try using a visually intriguing format that simplifies your letter into readable bullets and lists of the highlights.

 Paint A Picture

 “Sunday dinners are a family tradition and we know the open kitchen and dining area would be perfect for hosting everyone. We were thrilled to see two large garden beds in the backyard, as gardening is one of our favorite family pastimes. We would use every inch of them for growing fruits and vegetables. As an avid reader, Stella was taken by the beautiful built-in bookshelves and sunny window seat in the bedroom upstairs.”

When a seller is able to visualize you living in their home and appreciating all it has to offer, they’ll have an easier time choosing you as the next owner. This mental picture establishes a connection in their mind between you and their home. It also allows you to showcase the common ground you share by explaining the ways you would enjoy the same features of the home that they did. By doing so, you appeal to the seller’s nostalgia and emotional connection to the real estate.

 Envision yourself living there.
Together, brainstorm a list of the ways you would enjoy the home daily, weekly, monthly and from year to year.
Focus on unique features of the home.
Write in a sincere and humble tone.
Focus on the home as-is, refraining from describing renovations or major changes you would make.

 Showcase Your Stability

 “We are pre-approved and able to close within the month.”  or “We are prepared to offer cash.”

Remember: a seller’s goal is to get through the process without a hitch. If you can assure them of your commitment and financial stability, you’re at an advantage. Selling a home can be a stressful process - show them the finish line and make it clear you share that you want to get there too.

Consider how you are prepared to make the transaction quick and easy.
Find out the seller’s priorities, whether they be timing, proximity to asking price, down payment percentage or other.
Know your best sides, financially, and show only those.

Smart and sincere buyer letters are one of my favorite strategies for landing clients their dream homes. These letters set them apart from other potential buyers and personalize the process. They’re compelling and effective and often make all the difference.

For more expertise in buyer strategies or to begin your next chapter in real estate, contact me today at laura@laurakaplanhomes.com