While a strong offer to purchase can help you get the home of your dreams, in today’s real estate market there’s more to buying a home beyond meeting or exceeding the asking price. Want to stand out among a sea of potential buyers? Consider including a personal letter so sellers can get to know you, suggests Pete Shpak, an associate broker and REALTOR® with Oakwyn Realty’s Lee and Pete Real Estate Team in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“When we’re doing the perfect offer package to present to a seller, it’s going to have a bank draft attached to it and a personal letter—we’re using this personal letter almost every time we’re in a competitive situation now,” says Shpak.

What to include in a personal letter to sellers

What to include in a personal letter to sellers

Shpak recommends writing a one-page letter describing how much you love the home and the neighbourhood. Ideally, the letter is hand-written (for a more personal touch), and mentions if you’re a first-time buyer—including a family photo with your children and pets shows this is where you want to raise your family. 

“Talk about how you’ll be good neighbours, how you love what they’ve done with the house, and that it will be cherished and taken care of,” he adds, noting putting a face to a name on a contract can help swing the odds in your favour.

“I’ve seen it work often, where the seller’s agent said, ‘Your letter really connected with the seller, and we felt you were the best fit for their home’.”

When visiting the home, if you spot a connection with the buyers—maybe they collect sports memorabilia like you do—it can be worth mentioning in your letter, too, adds Shpak.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind for your personal letter:

  • highlight your favourite parts of the home and things you may have in common;
  • briefly mention your career and volunteerism;
  • refer to specific places in their neighbourhood you can’t wait to visit and experience;
  • include your history and sprinkle in some interesting facts; and
  • the good intentions you have for their home. 

Be sure to proofread the letter before giving it to your REALTOR®. Poor spelling and grammar could set a bad first impression.

A REALTOR(R) helps buyers write an offer letter

Respect the boundaries 

Always go through your REALTOR® if you want to attach a personal letter to your offer, said Shpak. Popping it into the sellers’ mailbox or ringing their bell can seem intrusive. Instead, ask your REALTOR® to get the seller’s agent to deliver it to the homeowners.  

“It’s important not to overstep the boundary of the relationship between the seller and their REALTOR®. Don’t try connecting directly with the seller on social media, either,” he says. 

A family filming an offer video to a home seller

Go one step further with a video 

Some of Shpak’s clients stand out from the pack of potential buyers by recording a short video. Shpak recalls a time when one of his clients was picking up her bank draft when she bumped into television personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott, AKA the Property Brothers, who were on site for a promotion. 

 “She told them she was trying to buy a house, and they did a video with her. They asked the sellers to let her have the home because it was the right place for her,” Shpak says.

 “We shared that with a personal letter, and it got the most reaction I’ve ever seen. And yes, she got the house.”

 Be aware it can be more complicated to forward a video to the sellers’ agent in addition to a letter, cautions Shpak. 

“If you’re working with an agent on the other side who may not be super tech-savvy, a video might get lost in the mix, but if your REALTOR® has a relationship with theirs and says, ‘Hey, we created this fantastic little video. Can you share it?’, I’m sure it would get in front of them,” he says. 

Being able to tell your story to a seller just might get their attention enough to consider your offer over others. Working with your REALTOR® can help you get the keys to your forever home.

Courtesy: realtor.ca

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