Score Your Dream Home With the Perfect Offer Letter


In a hypercompetitive housing market, buyers need to seize every advantage possible. In addition to a strong credit score, loan preapproval, and reasonable offer, a well-crafted offer letter can tip the scales in your favor. If you've found your dream home but are facing some stiff competition, it's time to put pen to paper. Here are eight tricks to writing the perfect offer letter.

1. Write it yourself

Don't delegate this one. Your offer letter should be penned by you, not your real estate agent. As a prospective buyer, it's up to you to connect emotionally with the seller and authentically express why you're drawn to the property.

2. Explain your interest

Details matter. Writing that you "simply love the house" is a good start, but it won't get the job done. What about the home appeals to you? Is it the gleaming hardwood floors? The big front porch? The way the sun shines through a stained-glass window? Including a few well-considered details accomplishes two things: First, it flatters the seller (as he or she may be responsible for many of the features you're drawn to). Second, it establishes a sense of shared appreciation and implies that you're well-suited to be the home's new steward.

3. Put your heart into it

Selling a house isn't just a business transaction; it's an emotional one. For sellers who've owned their home for decades, leaving may be bittersweet. Make it easier for them by tapping into the emotional side of your story. Discuss why you think the home is perfect for your family and what memories you hope to make within those walls.

4. Be cheery, not dreary

Though adding a bit of emotion to your offer letter is helpful, keep the emotions positive. Referring to a divorce, long-term illness, or the death of a loved one can cast a shadow over the transaction. Make the tone of your letter hopeful and joyful.

5. Skip the remodeling plans

Since sellers are understandably attached to their homes, avoid phrases like "rip out," "total gut job," and "down to the studs" in your letter. While remodeling may be part of you plans, focus on what you love about the home right now — not your vision to redo it.

6. Give buyers something to bank on

Remember, your offer letter is your moment to shine in every way possible. Show that you can make good on your offer without unnecessary delays and drama. Along with your loan approval documentation, briefly discuss what you do for a living, how established you are in your career, and the strength of your credit score. (See also: Everything a First-Time Home Buyer Needs to Buy a House)

7. Don't rush

Your offer letter is an important document that can save you thousands of dollars and months of continued house-hunting. Though you may not have the luxury of time in a hot market, write the best letter possible. Consider your approach carefully, write simply and sincerely, and proofread thoroughly to catch any spelling and grammar mistakes.

8. End with a thank you

Your mom was right — a simple thank you can work wonders. Wrap things up with a humble and heartfelt "thank you for the opportunity to view and bid on your beautiful home."

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