In Hawaii’s hot housing market, including a letter with your formal offer to buy a home is all but required. It’s important to remember that the seller may have an emotional attachment to their home and what you say in your letter can make all the difference.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a template out there for writing a successful offer letter. Here are a few tips for writing an offer letter that can help you close the deal:
1. Get emotional
Use this letter as an opportunity to talk about your personal connection to the home. Write about how certain features of the house perfectly fits your vision of your dream home.
For example, “Gathering for football games is important to my family. Your large kitchen has everything I need to create my favorite recipes and would fit all of my relatives, who love to gather in the kitchen to gossip.” Or, “During your showing my children escaped to climb trees in your back yard. They fell in love with your home as much as I did.” You don’t want to get too dramatic, but still express yourself.
2. Connect with the seller
Find one or two similarities between the seller’s family and yours based on what you can discern from the home or what you know about the owners. Show them that you have a common interest, but without digging too deep (nobody wants to sell to a stalker).
For example: “We are so excited that your home has a beautiful fenced yard and a dog door. Our lives revolve around our two pups, Celine and Dion. They would love to have a yard of their own.”
3. Don’t play the sympathy card
While you want to connect with the seller, you don’t want to go over the top. Sometimes, people include too many details in their offer letter, perhaps hoping to capitalize on some sort of hardship they are facing. Don’t do this. This is not the time or place to complain or whine. No sad stories about how many deals have fallen through or why you needed to sell your last house. You want to leave the seller feeling good after reading your letter.
4. A little flattery helps
Make sure to generously compliment features of the home that caught your attention. Tell the seller why you adore that beautifully upgraded feature you saw during the showing: “I absolutely fell in love with your beautiful kitchen, especially those colorful tiles you used on the kitchen back splash. They remind me of my trip to Spain.”
Just remember that less is more. You don’t want to seem phony or cheesy.
5. Grammar matters
Have you ever read a news article or social media post and notice a glaring spelling or grammatical error? Checking spelling and grammar is almost as important as what you’re actually writing. A misspelled word or misuse of words like “too” and “to” or “your” and “you’re” can trigger an unconscious decision by the reader to judge the writer and not the content.
Have a grammar-nerd friend triple check your letter for you. Another option is installing the Google Chrome plugin Grammarly to check your spelling and grammar as you type in Gmail or Google Docs (use the free version, it’s awesome).
You want the seller to know you put time and care into your honest appeal, and nothing says that like a well written and thoughtful letter.
Not sure where to start? I can help!