Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or you’ve been through the process before, it’s important to understand the current market. Many properties are receiving multiple offers. This means you have to stand above the competition.
Writing an offer letter is a great way to stand out. However, it can also cause issues, if you don’t write a good offer letter. Here are a few things you should avoid when writing an offer letter.
6 Things to Avoid Whenever You Write an Offer Letter
1. Don’t Show Desperation
Even if you feel a bit desperate, don’t let it come out in your offer letter. If a seller feels your desperation, it probably won’t help your cause.
You might want the house more than anything else right now, but that cannot come across in your offer letter. Enthusiasm is good, but desperation is bad and it’s a fine line. Don’t write an offer letter that sounds like you will do whatever it takes to get the house.
Not only will this be a turn off for a seller, but it will also kill any negotiating power you might have had. The seller’s real estate agent will know you will do anything to get the house, so they will stand their ground when you try to negotiate.
2. Avoid Negativity
Just like the line between enthusiasm and desperation is fine, the line between honesty and negativity is very fine. You certainly want to be honest in your offer letter, but don’t become negative.
If you don’t like the price or something about the home, let your real estate agent address that. Don’t include those types of things in your offer letter.
You want the home seller to feel good and connect to you when they read your offer letter. If you come off negative or like you’re whining, it can have the wrong effect and hurt your chances.
Instead, try to connect to the seller. If you both have pets, explain how your pets will love the home. If you both have children, explain how you will raise your children in the home.
3. Don’t Write a Long Letter
You don’t need to write an essay to win over a seller. The offer letter should be short and to the point. Don’t make it something the seller doesn’t want to read because it’s too long.
You should also use shorter paragraphs and a large enough font size to make the letter easy to read. Don’t make the seller feel like it’s a chore to read your three-page letter with long paragraphs and small font size.
4. Don’t Address How You Will Change the Home
You might have plans to remodel or renovate and that’s fine. The seller doesn’t need to know what you will do after you own the home. Often, sellers will take it personally if you plan to change something about the home they have lived in for many years.
Instead, point out a few of your favorite things about the home. The flattery approach is much better than letting the seller know how you will be changing the home they raised their children in and spent the past two decades living in.
5. Don’t address anything Financial
The money portion of buying a house will be dealt with on its own. It doesn’t need to come up in the offer letter. Even if you have an odd financial situation, it’s not the seller’s business.
Let the financial portion of the transaction be handled by the real estate agents and the lender. The offer letter should appeal more to the emotions of the seller, not their wallets.
6. Don’t Contradict Formal Offer Documents
While a good offer letter doesn’t even need to include any information from the formal offer, make sure you don’t contradict anything in your formal offer. If you must talk about something in the formal offer, make sure you don’t contract yourself. This can be a big problem if you do.
It’s best to leave anything in the formal offer outside of your letter, anyway.
When buying a house, an offer letter can help set you apart from other buyers. Make sure it’s about one page long or less and try to connect with the seller on a personal and emotional level.