It is an incredibly challenging time for home buyers right now. There is a countrywide shortage of homes for sale. So, when something appealing does come on the market, there is a lot of competition. Buyers may find themselves in a bidding war. You have to act quickly if you want to have any hope of scoring the home of your dreams. Upping your bid is only one way to make your offer more attractive. To make yourself standout, you might also consider writing a personal letter to the seller.

A popular strategy during a seller’s market, writing a good letter can have an impact. Sellers often have a personal connection to their home, and getting a heartfelt letter explaining why their home would mean so much to you can make the difference in them accepting your offer.

There are a few pitfalls to avoid when writing a letter. Some topics can also be off-putting. Also, don’t expect a letter to work every time. It’s hard to predict what is important to an owner. However, we’ll give you a few tips to write a genuine, heartfelt letter, which may just give you the slight advantage you need.

Don’t Be Generic

The most important thing you can do if you’re going to write a seller a letter is speak from your heart. If you’re fake or your letter sounds like something you downloaded from the internet, this is probably going to backfire. Sellers are smart, discerning people and they’re going to see right through too much flattery.

Try to Find a Connection

If at all possible, try to identify and highlight a connection you have with the seller. Often you can get clues when you are viewing the home, or from information provided by your realtor. For example, maybe you both have a dog, a similar hobby or children. How can you incorporate that into your letter, and explain what it means to you?

Times You Should Skip the Letter

If the person selling a home is an investor or builder, you can probably skip the letter altogether. They want to make a profit, and they don’t have an emotional attachment to the property. You’re going to have to offer them more money or a fast closing to grab their attention.

Recognize Their Work and Improvements

If you notice the sellers have done work in their home, like remodeling their kitchen, feel free to mention that. People put a lot of time, money, and work into their homes, and it feels good to know that other people notice that.

Even if you have some ideas in mind, don’t mention your own plans to remodel. It’s better for a seller to envision that you’ll enjoy the spaces like they did.

This should go without saying, but don’t criticize anything regarding the home, property or neighborhood in the letter.

Don’t Sound Desperate

People want to feel positive emotions, not negative ones. Don’t bring up hardships or sound too desperate. It’s a turn off, and you don’t want to make a seller feel uncomfortable. You want to make them feel happy about passing their home onto people who will enjoy it the way they did.

Also don’t go on and on- keep it to less than a page and to the point. You want to convey why the house is meaningful to you and how you’ll use it, but you don’t have to write a huge volume to make an effect.

At the end, sum up all your key points and thank them for the opportunity to potentially purchase their home.

The task of writing a personable and engaging letter to a seller is not easy, and is not right for every situation. However, in this tight seller’s market, it could possibly make the difference in whether you get the home you want or not.