When demand outweighs supply, like it does in Seattle’s current housing market, standing out from the crowd as a homebuyer is important.
You don’t want to have to compete with all-cash buyers who tempt with speedy closing. If you plan to make a smaller down payment, or need financing, you still deserve a shot at your dream home. How do you give yourself an edge when applying for a home, especially if you don’t have the financial advantages of some of your competition?
One way is to write a letter to the seller. Many of us have written letters of appreciation after interviewing for a job, so doing something similar in the housing realm makes sense.
A homebuyer’s letter should work to convince the seller that you’re a good pick for the house in question. Here are some tips to write a winning letter to the seller and get your dream home.
Build a Connection
One way to get the homeseller hooked on your words is to establish a connection.
What do you have in common with the person selling this house? Whether you’re from the same hometown, had a similar upbringing, love the same sports team, or share another hobby, mention this in your letter to build a connection and make yourself stand out.
[Related: Important Tips for Millennial Homebuyers]
Keep It Short
No one wants to read a 10-page letter, much less 10 pages of convincing someone to sell you a house.
Keep it short and sweet — you don’t want to bore the seller halfway through before you’ve even made your most powerful points. Similar to a cover letter for a job application, make your letter to the seller around one page in length.
Don’t Make Them Feel Sorry for You
Don’t host a pity party. You won’t be able to guilt the seller into choosing you, we promise.
Avoid making anyone uncomfortable with sad stories of not being able to buy a home — instead, focus on the positive and think about what you would like to read in a letter if you were selling your house.
[Related: Five Priceless Reasons to Save Up to Buy a Home vs. Renting]
Show, Don’t Tell
All great writers know this rule of thumb: show, don’t tell.
If you really love this house and want to spend your life there, don’t simply say those words. Illustrate why you’re interested.
For example, saying “I can picture many warm family gatherings by the fireplace during the holidays” might be more effective than telling the seller that you “like” the large living room and classic hearth.
Don’t Talk About Making Big Changes
Many sellers are still sentimentally attached to their home, so explaining in your letter in detail how you are planning on knocking out walls and rebuilding rooms might not strike the right chord. Avoid mentioning big changes and home improvements, instead focusing on what you love about the house as-is.
[Related: Guide for Renters Curious About Owning in Seattle]
Reassure The Seller
Reassure the home seller that their home is going to be in good hands, and that you will take care of and cherish it. An emotional connection may still be strong between the seller and the home, so this type of reassurance can be valuable.
Toward the end of your letter, reinforce some key points and finish strong. Thank them for their time and convey your appreciation for their consideration. You want to leave a good impression and be memorable among all of the applicants, so really focus on a strong conclusion for your letter.
[Related: Guide to Buying a Home in Seattle]
Finally, proofread, proofread, proofread!
No worse feeling exists than hitting send on an email and immediately noticing unfinished sentences or glaring typos. One quick tip is to read your letter out loud to make sure it reads well and flows in a coherent way. You can even ask a friend or colleague to lend an extra pair of eyes and see if they can catch anything you haven’t immediately noticed.
If you do a great job at crafting a convincing letter using all of these tips, you might be able to tip the scales in your favor and win the seller over — especially if the love you have for the house shines through in your writing.
Seattle Mortgage Planners Can Help
Seattle Mortgage Planners will help you every step of the way during your journey toward buying your dream home. From tips on loan applications to researching the best neighborhoods to relocate to, we’re here for you. Contact us today to get started!