How to Write a Winning Offer Letter

How to Write a Winning Offer Letter

  • Michele Oravec
  • 08/17/23

Buying a house can be a tedious process, and, as such, it’s easy to get overwhelmed – especially if it’s your first time buying a home. When you’re buying a home, you’ll have to make an offer to the seller, and to the seller, all offers can start to look the same.

To set yourself apart, it’s worthwhile to consider writing an offer letter. This letter details why you’re interested in buying the home as well as additional insight on the mortgage and closing. Often, the key to successfully writing an offer letter is to find a way to connect with the seller on a personal level. We’re here to provide the inside scoop on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing a winning offer letter. These tips and tricks are sure to captivate the attention of the seller:

Address the Seller by Name

When it comes time for you to write an offer letter, it’s a good idea to address the seller by name. Beginning your home with the phrase “Dear Seller” is impersonal and most likely won’t make an impression. Additionally, using this generic greeting can make it look as if you are addressing the same letter to multiple sellers, even if you are just writing a letter to one specific seller. To avoid this, customize the letter and include the seller’s name. If you’re unsure what the name is and are unable to find it online, you can always check with your real estate agent. This simple step will bring you one step closer to getting your dream home.

Include What You Most Like About the House

Most sellers want to know that their house is going to be sold to someone who truly cares about it, which is why it’s a good idea to highlight features you love about the house. After all, what was it that drew you to this specific property? Was it the space, the style, or perhaps the location? Have you always dreamed of living in Sarasota, or are you a Sarasota native? Use your offer letter to compliment the house, listing a few of its most attractive attributes. Mention specific details such as the spacious backyard or the spa-like bathrooms. It’s worth mentioning what sets this house apart from other homes you’ve looked at. Adding this will make your offer shine and show the seller why you want this specific house to be yours. This is not your life story, but rather a professional way to explain why you appreciate the house more than other potential home buyers.

Introduce Yourself

Another benefit of writing an offer letter is that it allows the seller to put a face to your name. A letter is a perfect way to introduce yourself and include some memorable facts that will set you apart from other interested buyers. For example, you might want to include some information about yourself, your spouse, or your family, where you’ll be moving from, or why you feel like this house is the right fit for you. Essentially, the goal of introducing yourself is to give the seller a sense of what moving into the house would mean to you and your family. This is an opportunity to express genuine emotion. Why do you want to buy the house, beyond the price?

Keep in mind that while it’s completely acceptable to share some personal information, it’s best to steer clear of sharing too many unnecessary details. You don’t want to give too much information so that the seller can start finding reasons to dislike you. Sometimes less is more!

Include Financial Details

You might also benefit from including important financial details in your offer. It’s important to present yourself as a serious contender who can afford to buy the house. This includes adding information about how you plan to pay for the purchase (all cash or financing). If you’re financing the purchase, then a preapproval letter from the bank should also be provided along with the offer letter. You might also want to mention requests for contingencies, such as financing contingency and inspection contingency. Lastly, it’s worthwhile to include your desired closing time frame and any other special conditions. This section will help prove that you are a serious buyer and that you’re fully equipped and prepared to sign a contract upon completion of the due diligence process.

Explain Your Bid

In addition to notifying the seller of your financial details, this is your opportunity to explain your bid – especially if you aren’t offering a full asking price. The offer letter is a way to give your offer price some context, all the while being honest, polite, and respectful. You don’t want the seller to feel as though you’re making excuses for your bid but, instead, respectfully ask them to consider accepting your offer. If you’re in a bidding war, then this is a great time to politely acknowledge the market value of the house and therefore, why your offer is fair.

Express Your Appreciation

The conclusion of your letter is your chance to make one final impression on the seller. That’s why it’s essential to close with a heartfelt thank you. This is the time to express your deep interest in buying the home, as well as thank the seller for taking the time to consider your offer. You can also let the seller know that you’re hoping to hear back from them. Just remember that the best offer letters start and finish strong.

Keep It Short and Sweet

All in all, it’s best to keep the letter short and sweet. You’ll want to provide just enough information without going overboard and boring the seller with details. With that in mind, try to keep the letter between one and three paragraphs. Anything longer might lose the seller’s attention, so try to keep your offer letter to one page. In order to keep it brief and to the point, start by carefully outlining the letter and establishing what important details you want to include. The key is to provide just enough information while avoiding information overload.

Don’t Ask Questions About the Property

Ideally, once it’s time to put an offer in writing, you should already have most of your questions about the house resolved, yet it’s understandable if you still have some lingering. However, an offer letter isn’t the time to ask those questions. Bringing up questions in your offer letter will make you come across as hesitant about your offer and can potentially turn the seller away. Instead, address these questions with your real estate agent.

Don’t Talk About Renovations

An offer letter is a great way to build a connection with the seller, but avoid discussing any renovations you plan to make to the home. There’s nothing wrong with planning to make a home your own. After all, it’s understandable that you might want to remodel the kitchen or revamp the backyard, but an offer letter isn’t the time and place to delve into that. Keep in mind that your seller might still feel emotionally attached to the home and dislike the idea of the home they loved undergoing alterations. Some individuals may be offended if they learn you think the entire place needs updating. This can be avoided by simply withholding any changes you plan to make to the home.

Avoid Desperation

Making an offer on your dream home can bring up an array of emotions, including excitement and nervousness. While this is completely normal, avoid tipping your hand too much, as doing this can only hurt your negotiating power. You don’t want to leave the impression that you’re willing to pay even more to get the home.

Collaborate With Your Real Estate Agent

Working with an incredible real estate agent, like Michele Oravec, is a surefire way to make sure that your offer letter is in tip-top shape. Michele will be able to walk you through the letter-writing process from start to finish and help ensure that you’re on the right track. Plus, she’ll be able to help you understand all the do’s and don’ts in terms of offer letters. Keep in mind that if you aren’t strategic about what you decide to include in your offer letter, the buyer might be less willing to consider you. Finally, it’s important to note that not all sellers welcome such letters, which can introduce Fair Housing Act violations. Before writing a letter, be sure to consult with your real estate agent.

If you are looking to explore Bay Area real estate, reach out to Michele Oravec today. With years of experience as a realtor, Michele can help guide you through the home-buying process to help you find your dream Bay Area home.

Work With Michele

Michele brings over 25 years of professional sales experience including training in Negotiation Mastery from the Harvard Business School. Michele’s clients benefit from her skilled negotiation strategies when it comes to the purchase or sale of their home.