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Home Buying Tips

How to write an offer letter for a house

Reading Time — 4 minutes

July 10, 2022

By Heidi Knight

Reading Time — 4 minutes

July 10, 2022

Offer price isn’t the only factor sellers consider when choosing an offer. Knowing who is buying their home is just as important to some. That’s why it’s important for buyers to master the art of how to write an offer letter for a house.

It can be helpful for buyers to make their offer stand out, especially in competitive markets. One way to set yourself apart is to include a letter to the seller with your offer. It can make the buying process feel a little more personal and a little less transactional for the seller.

Whether you’re a battle hardened house hunter or just entering the buying process, including a well written offer letter with your offer can be the game changer that helps you win over sellers and get you one step closer to your new home.

Keep reading to find out what makes a winning offer letter.

1. Be complimentary

It’s no surprise that, in general, people like to have their accomplishments celebrated. Where sellers are concerned, it’s all about hearing that the blood, sweat and tears (let’s not forget money) that they’ve poured in their home hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Be sure to tell the seller what you loved about the home. Tell them how you felt when you first walked through the door and what it was about their home that made it “The One” for you.

2. Get personal and appeal to their emotions (not their wallets)

Most people are emotionally attached to the places where they live. This could be because a home can represent many things to many people: safety and security, success or even family. Just because someone is selling their home doesn’t mean they won’t experience some anxiety around leaving it.

Chances are, they’ll feel much better about selling a special part of their lives to someone with whom they’ve made a connection. Fostering a small sense of familiarity can really help set your offer apart from the crowd. Figure out what you have in common and build rapport around that.

Maybe you saw a framed jersey of a sports team you also support in the home.

Maybe something about the home reminds you of your childhood home.

Maybe the home closer to your job and the shorter commute would mean more time to spend with your family.

Get personal and appeal to the seller’s emotions: Two examples of offer letters.

Keep in mind, this is not the time to negotiate numbers. While your offer comes from the head, your letter should come from the heart.

3. Let them know how serious you are

Put yourselves in the shoes of the seller. One of the biggest concerns for sellers is whether or not the offer they accept will actually make it through the closing process. The last thing the seller wants is to have a lukewarm buyer who will either pull out of the sale or drag their feet.

If you are dead set on making a place yours, let the seller know how willing you are to deliver, whether it’s extending a rent-back period or even closing on shorter schedule. These things will help the seller feel confident that you are a serious buyer.

4. Keep it short (like less than a page)

When sellers begin to review the offers they’ve received, it can be a long process — especially if there is a lot of interest in the property. The last thing they will want to do is wade through a lengthy letter explaining why you think you’re the right person to buy their home.

That’s why it’s best that you keep it short, sweet and to-the-point. A few paragraphs should do the trick. Consider adding a picture of you and your family. After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, or insurance advice. Opendoor always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

→ Checklist for first-time home buyers (infographic)

→ How much does it cost to buy a house

→ Navigating a buyer’s market vs. seller’s market

→ More guides and blog posts about home buying

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