Sandy Lucchesi's Blog
Making an offer on a home you’re hoping to buy is a stressful endeavor. You want your offer to stand apart from others, and if you don’t feel comfortable increasing the offer, a personalized letter is a good way to explain your situation and possibly sway the seller in your favor.
Sounds good, right? But when most of us sit down to write an effective offer letter we often come up stumped. What makes your situation different than any other hopeful buyer? How do you find the right tone in your letter? How do you sign off at the end?
There are a number of things to consider when writing an offer letter. So, in this article, we’re going to help you craft an offer letter that will give you the best chance of getting accepted by a home seller.
Begin with them
Before you start talking about yourself and why you love the house, start by addressing the seller by name. Thank them for letting you view their home, and compliment them on the work they’ve done to take care of it.
Why you love their home
A good place to start in your offer letter is to describe exactly what sets their home apart from the others you looked at. Are there defining characteristics of the home that make it perfectly suited to your family? Does it have a large yard that your dog will love to run in or the workshop you’ve always wanted to practice your woodworking?
Make your letter personal. This is your chance to show that you aren’t just concerned with the price of the home.
Share information wisely
Some buyers get excited about all of the changes they would make if their offer was accepted on a home. And while it’s okay to plan and be excited for the future, you might not want to share that information with the seller.
Remember that they have many memories and hours of work put into their home, and they might not appreciate you talking about how you’re going to start tearing down walls.
Once you get into the flow of writing your letter, it’s easy to get carried away. However, sellers will be more receptive to reading and understanding your letter if it is short and to the point. Try not to go over a page, single-spaced.
Once you’ve written your letter, review it to see if there’s anything that can be simplified or removed altogether.
Before sending your letter, have a family member, friend, or real estate agent look it over. Not only will they be able to catch small grammatical errors, but they’ll also let you know if something you’ve written is confusing or would be considered over-sharing.
You might be tempted to hit the send button as soon as you’re done with your letter. However, receiving an email can be impersonal--we all get hundreds of emails that we never even open. Rather, print your letter on nice paper, sign it by hand, and consider attaching a family photo if you have one that’s suitable.
If you receive an offer to purchase your home, you may have only a limited amount of time to decide whether to accept this proposal. As such, there are several factors you'll want to consider to determine whether to approve an offer to purchase your home. These factors include:
1. The Price of Your Home
If you established a competitive initial asking price for your home, you should have no trouble determining whether an offer to purchase falls in line with your expectations. Thus, if an offer to purchase your home is at or above your residence's initial asking price, you may want to accept a buyer's proposal and move forward with a house sale.
Of course, if an offer to purchase your house falls below your residence's initial asking price, you should still evaluate the proposal closely. If you feel the offer to purchase is the best proposal you might receive, you may want to accept it.
2. The Current State of the Local Housing Market
Examine the current state of the local housing market – you'll be glad you did. If you discover you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, you can assess an offer to purchase your home accordingly.
If you find a buyer's market is in place, you may be more inclined than ever before to accept a competitive offer to purchase your home. Because in this market, the number of sellers exceeds the number of buyers, and rejecting a homebuying proposal does not guarantee you will receive better offers to purchase in the near future.
Comparatively, if a seller's market is in place, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to any offers to purchase your residence. In this market, the number of buyers exceeds the number of quality houses available. As a result, you may receive dozens of offers to acquire your residence if you wait for the local housing market to develop.
3. Your Home Selling Goals
You should feel good about accepting an offer to purchase your house. Therefore, if an offer to purchase enables you to achieve your home selling goals, you may want to accept it sooner rather than later. By doing so, you can take the next step to finalize your house sale.
As you debate how to proceed with an offer to purchase your house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent too. This housing market professional may be able to offer housing market insights that you won't find anywhere else. Plus, he or she can provide honest, unbiased home selling recommendations. And if you ultimately decide to accept an offer to purchase your residence, a real estate agent can guide you along the final stages of the property selling journey.
There is no reason to settle for a subpar offer to purchase your house. But if you consider the aforementioned factors, you can make an informed decision about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal.
If you find your dream house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But if you submit a "lowball" homebuying proposal, you risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.
Putting together a competitive offer to purchase can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an aggressive homebuying proposal.
1. Study the Housing Market
The housing market fluctuates constantly. If the real estate market favors buyers today, it may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow, or vice-versa. As such, you should study the housing market, determine whether it favors buyers or sellers and craft a homebuying proposal accordingly.
Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, as well as how long these homes were listed before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of submitting a competitive homebuying proposal.
2. Know Your Budget
If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can minimize the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that stretches beyond your financial limits.
To establish a homebuying budget, it generally is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about different mortgage options and help you select the right mortgage. Plus, if you have any questions as you evaluate your mortgage options, banks and credit unions are happy to respond to your home financing queries.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you hire a real estate agent, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase on any house. In fact, a real estate agent can offer in-depth housing market insights to help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal that may receive an instant "Yes" from a seller.
A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. He or she first will meet with you, learn about you and your homebuying goals and create a personalized property buying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns until you find one that matches your expectations. And after you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to submit an offer to purchase that fulfills the needs of all parties involved.
Of course, if your offer to purchase your dream home is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final steps of the homebuying process. Or, if your homebuying proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market.
Avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer to purchase your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal home.
If you’re in the market to buy a home, you want to find the perfect place for you and your family. In a seller’s market, the competition can be fierce. As a buyer, you may be under the impression that you need to make the highest offer in order to secure the home of your dreams. The problem is, you may never know what price other people have offered for the same home.
Know Your Budget
First, you should know what kind of a budget you have to work with to buy a home. You probably have done an online search to see what’s out there and what price range the homes you like fall into. You’ll want to go beyond the online search and actually see some of your favorite houses in person because pictures can be deceiving.
Next, you’ll want to do is speak with a lender. This can help you before you even hit the ground running on your home search. A lender can pre-qualify you then work you through the process of pre-approval. This will give you a definitive number to work with when searching for a home. With this number, you’ll know how much you can offer comfortably when you find that house you fall in love with.
Make A List Of Priorities
Finding the “perfect” house usually requires that you make a few compromises along the way. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find one house that gives you everything you want in one place without a bit of imagination. Jot down all of the things about a home that are the most important to you. These items could include:
- The neighborhood
- Big backyard
- Open floor plan
- Number of bedrooms
- Hardwood floors
- The size of the rooms
- Style of the house
- Granite countertops
Whatever is important to you should be on the list. Next, go through the list and see what can be compromised on. There are probably a few luxuries on the list that you could stand to give up in lieu of something else.
Once you find that home you know that you absolutely want to live in, you’re going to want to make an offer. Let your realtor know immediately that you’re interested in the home and they can get to work. Your realtor can help you to make an offer that’s reasonable based on the asking price and your budget. Your offer doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars over the asking price for you to win the bid. There are a couple of strategies that can help you to land the right home even if you’re not stretching your budget to the max.
Showing You’re Serious
Taking steps like being pre-approved and having all of your finances in order can help to give you the upper hand in the house hunt. Sellers don’t want to deal with a buyer who is ultimately going to have issues where the deal will fall through.
The Offer Letter
Writing a letter along with your offer is a great personal touch to help you land the home of your dreams. If a seller knows that the home they have lived in and loved will go to another owner who is going to appreciate and take the same great care of the home, they will be more likely to go with you as a buyer. First, tell the seller a bit about yourself and why you love the home so much. Compliment the landscaping. Tell the seller just how much your kids are going to appreciate living in the home. Don’t be afraid to get too personal when it comes to writing an offer letter to the sellers. They will appreciate honesty and a candid approach in the sometimes all too serious matter of buying a home.
In real estate, cash is power. It’s not exactly the amount of money that you have been approved for by a lender. This type of “cash” is what you can pull directly from your account to buy a property on demand. It can be difficult to compete with cash buyers especially in tight real estate markets. Below, you’ll find some tips to help you match up against any cash offers that you may be competing with when you buy a home.
Make Your Offer Look Attractive As Possible
First, you should always have a pre-approval letter from your lender. This lets sellers know that you’re a qualified buyer. You should also get your lender or realtor (or both) to provide some financial information about you along with your offer. This helps to add to the case that you’re a dependable buyer.
Let Things Move Quickly
If you allow your lender to send an appraiser to the property as quickly as possible, this will give you an advantage in the home buying process. You want to reduce the amount of time that it will take to close on the house. That means you should consider cutting down on both the appraisal and contingency time. You could even consider waiving any contingencies if you feel comfortable.
To speed up the process, even more, you should pre-order an appraisal in advance. You can do this before your offer has even been written. It can be difficult to arrange this, especially with larger scale lenders, but it’s always worth a try. Once the offer is written, the lender can relay to the seller that an appraisal has already been scheduled.
You’ll also want to get the inspection done fairly quickly. You only have a short window of time to get the inspection done. The quicker you get this done, the more serious of a buyer you appear to be. You should have the inspector who you’ll use ready before you even put an offer in on a home in order to expedite this part of the process. Usually, inspectors don’t take terribly long to schedule appointments knowing that their clients have short windows to get inspections done.
Make A Strong Offer
Making a good offer could mean paying extra for a home you love in order to compete with cash offers. Spending more money helps to win. Here’s why: Sellers almost always will give a cash buyer a bit more of a discount since they’ll be getting all of the funds up front. If you love the house and plan to live in it for years to come, the extra money you spend will be well worth it.
Write An Offer Letter
An offer letter adds a bit of a personal touch to the number you put down as a buyer. Here, you can tell the seller who you are and why you love the home. It can be emotional to sell a property, but a seller will feel more comfortable knowing that the home is going to someone who will appreciate it.