When putting down an offer, homebuyers who want to stand out from a crowd of offers in today’s market are often told to write and include a personal letter.
If it is a seller’s market, it means the economy is better, which sort of sucks for the buyer. This means you’re competing with other prospective buyers for a quality home, maybe even your forever home.
Typically, if a family is selling the house (as opposed to investors), a personal letter could be the difference between winning and losing your dream home. Quality property doesn’t stay on the market forever. You’ve got to be able to make a decent offer money wise but when it’s an even playing field, a buyer’s cover letter may nudge you in the lead. For our family, it won us our dream home.
Here is our story:
We were in our 4th month of the homebuying process and were getting more and more frustrated. We’ve must have seen 50 homes in person and hundreds online. So the timeline was…
Thursday: I saw a new house on the MLS. On paper, it’s perfect. It’s got the neighborhood, square footage, upgrades, and price. I text our realtor immediately and tell him to “get me in this” (True Story).
Friday: Our realtor says they’re having a open house this weekend, he knew the selling agent so he set up to tour the home before the open house.
Saturday: We see the house, and IT IS perfect. Husband and I crunch some numbers and put our best offer on the table.
Sunday: I’m still thinking about the house. I can’t let it slip away. I remember our realtor saying a cover letter doesn’t hurt if there’s multiple offers. I search for sample buyer offer letters. They suck. I decide to get creative with our cover letter.
It took me an hour but once I was done, my realtor was impressed, our loan officer was impressed, and the selling agent was impressed. We included it with our offer. Now it was a matter of seeing if the sellers were impressed.
Monday: Our realtor says the open house over the weekend brought in 7 offers. SEVEN???!!!! After ONE open house?!
Monday night: I sulk, I think there’s no way we’re going to get this house. So I browse the MLS once more.
Tuesday: still waiting to hear but I’m thinking we’re done for. We’re VA buyers, and I’m thinking other buyers offered more money.
Wednesday: Text from agent “Call me”. I call him…
“What’s the news?” I ask.
“Congrats, they accepted your offer,” he said.
Our realtor then explained while there was another offer for more money, the sellers loved our cover letter. It was creative, eye-catching, and set us apart.
30 Days later, we closed on our first home. So what does this epic buyer cover letter look like? See below. Names and photos have been changed for privacy.
Our buyer offer letter told:
- our story
- why we love the house
- each family member
- what we love about the house
- that we had similarities with the seller (our kids was about the same age)
It was designed to be eye-catching. If the sellers are sorting through multiple offers, I knew a letter like this would incentivize the sellers to read about us and (at least) look at our offer.