How to Write an Offer Letter for a House
As U.S. News & World Report explains, the purpose of an offer letter is clear. You want to “connect with home sellers to make them feel good about letting you purchase their home.” How do you do it? Don’t panic if your mind is blank. It’s actually a fairly simple task, and there are plenty of tips for how to write an offer letter for a house.
Check with Your Real Estate Agent Before You Begin
Before you begin writing, check with your real estate agent. Some locations have rules about including offer letters. Others have restrictions on what can be included in letters. As LowerMyBills notes, enclosing information about your religion, race, national origin, or other protected traits could raise concerns about violations of rules designed to prevent housing discrimination. Talking with your real estate agent about what is allowed before you start writing will help you craft an effective offer letter that can actually be used in your quest to obtain a home.
Put Pen to Paper
In a digital world, putting pen to paper makes an impression. Trulia suggests breaking out a real ink pen and some nice stationary for your final copy. A handwritten letter is more personable, so it’s the preferred style. However, if your handwriting is truly illegible, it may be better to go with a typewritten version. After all, forcing a seller to puzzle their way through something that resembles hieroglyphics more than the alphabet probably won’t make the positive impression that you want.
Avoid an Impersonal Address
You’re not writing a form letter, so don’t address your offer letter to “Dear sir.” Use the seller’s name. As SmartAsset indicates, addressing the letter to the seller is a small but crucial way to start building a connection. It shows respect and suggests this deal is important to you because you really want to buy their home.
As Opendoor points out, people like knowing that the things they’ve accomplished are appreciated. Be sure to tell the sellers that you have noticed how amazing their home is. Be complimentary and positive as you introduce yourself and tell them why you would like to purchase their home.
Offer Details About What You Love
Are you thrilled about the huge kitchen because you love to cook? Did the fireplace in the living room remind you of childhood evenings spent roasting hotdogs over the fire? Did the sight of a dog house or garden in the backyard delight you because you are eager to have a puppy or a vegetable garden? HomeLight suggests letting the buyer know with a few carefully crafted sentences. This common ground may win points in your favor. However, avoid any discussion of possible renovations. Talking about what you would change could be taken as criticism, and it may hurt your chances. Instead, focus only on the positive.
As you wrap up your letter, be sure to say thank you for the chance to make an offer. According to Trulia, you should seize the opportunity to offer a final bit of flattery about the property while you are at it.
Keep It Short
There are times when less is best. While there’s no official limit on the length of offer letters, it’s best to keep it short. A handwritten letter should be one or two pages. A typewritten letter should probably be no more than 500 to 700 words. Whatever length you settle on, be sure to proofread your offer letter carefully.