Jessica and Nathan aren’t the only buyers who have won over their sellers with a personal home offer letter. When Karen McConnell and her husband were house-hunting in the competitive Boston, MA, real estate market, they were often outbid by rival buyers who offered to waive mortgage and inspection contingencies to close the deal. “We weren’t willing to do that,” says Karen.
When they found their must-have home, they tried the personal touch. “In addition to offering more than the asking price, we included a letter explaining why it was the perfect house for us, how we were returning to the area to raise our family, and how we loved the thoughtful, family-friendly features of the house,” she says. “It certainly helped to humanize the process, and we still exchange holiday cards with the former owners!”
“I always encourage my clients to write a letter if there are multiple offers, a very competitive environment, or if we are heavily negotiating,” says Carrie Levitt Kaplan, a real estate agent in Stamford, CT. “It’s not always about the dollar amount. Sellers can have a real emotional attachment to their home and want to know that it’s going to a good family.”
That’s what happened to Genevieve Jones when she and her family were shopping for a historic home in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. “Originally, the sellers declined our offer, but they were an older couple who had been in our phase of life with young kids when they bought the home,” says Genevieve. She mentioned this — and her family’s previous experience owning a historic home in Tuxedo Park, NY — in her letter. “It really mattered to them. Their real estate agent told us it was the letter that got us the home.”