Wedding Woes

House offer letter

I'm sure you all are sick of hearing about my never-ending house hunting. Lol. We had an interesting scenario come up and I want some advise. Our agent recently sold a home that she was the sellers-agent for to a guy that was acting as his own agent. He mentioned to her that he was going to be selling his current home soon and they got to talking and she thought it sounded perfect for us. She sent us the address and based on the last listing (1 year ago) I think it will be! Well he agreed to let us come have a look before he lists it so this could be our in! I thought it was odd that he was selling so soon since it was sold only a year ago but our agent said he is selling because his partner passed away recently :( 

We are supposed to go look later this week but we love the location and are pretty good at gauging from pictures so barring any surprises we plan on making an offer. I have a draft written, but I am not sure if I am saying the right things. Anyone with experience writing house offer letters with advise I will gladly take! 
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charlotte989875MissKittyDangerei34

Re: House offer letter

  • Aww I got some goosebumps reading your letter if that helps! I think it sounds lovely. 

    I wouldn’t be too worried about selling after only a year/ that’s what happened with our Ohio house. We really thought we’d stay there but ended up hating our jobs and moving home. We listed just over a year after we closed. It was sad, I loved that house!
    Jstump2short+sassy
  • kvrunskvruns member
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    I've read mixed things on letters. My friend's parents lost out on a house a month or so ago because even though they had the highest offer someone had a better letter. But then I also read something the other day saying letters are not really a thing and some agents aren't even presenting them to their clients so it might be very market-dependent. 

    I think your letter is great and well written. It might be a little long but I'm also not sure what I would cut out. Does your agent have any advice?
  • Jstump2Jstump2 member
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    We have found that letters have been a huge factor in our area. I wrote letters for the other offers we made but not as detailed as this one. The other house we almost got because the wife felt a strong connection to our letter (It was her childhood home and she had a sister) but her H put his foot down and they took the cash offer they got. She recommended we write a letter but not really what to say, so I did some googling.
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    charlotte989875MissKittyDangerkvrunsei34
  • kvrunskvruns member
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    Based on that info then I think your house is great. I feel like the personal connection comes through sayin how you can picture your family in that space. 
  • short+sassyshort+sassy member
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    edited March 30
    That is really interesting that letters can make a big difference in your area.  That is sad that their partner died, but it might be extra soothing to know the home they shared with that person is going to a good family.

    Normally I wouldn't suggest writing such an effusive letter because it gives the seller more power.  However, I know how quick houses go in your area, so I assume the price has already been set by the seller and their agent and "is what it is".  Probably without much/any negotiation anyway, so it doesn't seem like there would be any harm in sending the letter.

    I don't have experience with letters like this.  I've only bought one personal home and it was a foreclosure, so the seller was a bank.  Your letter is a nice, well written letter that gives off "warm, homey vibes", plus admires the aspects of the house you like.  Probably some of the same things that drew the seller and the partner to the house in the first place, so that could be a little bit of kinship.

    It is way nicer then the letters I sometimes send to sellers, LMAO.  Those are more like, "I'm offering $X.  I realize this is less then the list price, but it is a fair offer for this property considering the ARV is $Y and the repairs needed are $Z (insert bulleted list with approximate costs of major repair items)."

    Good luck!!!!
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  • This is absolutely a regional thing. In some areas, where there are multiple offers at similar prices, a letter like yours can put your offer at the top. And it really depends on how attached the seller is to their home.

    But in some areas, it's all about the offer, and whether the potential buyers can come through.

    We live in Maine, where housing prices have gone up 20% over the past year. My daughter and SIL looked for a year, losing out on places because they did not bid enough over the asking price. Last August, they beat out 15 (yes, fifteen) other offers nor by their letter, but by their bid, which was 24,000 above listed price.

    They are now friends with a family who told them that they were one of the other bidders on their house. The sellers liked their letter best, but my daughter and her family got the house just because they offered more. 

    So sometimes, it is just about the money.

    And I sure hope my kids get their money back our of their house!
  • Jstump2Jstump2 member
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    @short+sassy Oh yes, when we bought our current house (9 years ago) it was a buyers market and we would never show our hand like in this letter. We actually got an amazing deal and that has put us in a very good position to gain a hefty profit! But the current Market houses are selling for asking or slightly higher so there isn't really any haggling to be had. It is very much a sellers market right now, which we are hoping pays off when we sell our current home!

    We were one of multiple (15+) on other homes we have made offers on and every time we were one of the top offers being considered but lost out every time. We are hoping a nice offer plus a nice letter will get us this house without him having to go to market.
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    charlotte989875short+sassylevioosa
  • Letters are common where we are, too. My sister wrote a letter about Niece playing in the yard & the pool, Christmas mornings in front of the fire place, & included a picture of Niece and their dog. The sellers said it was the letter & picture that made them choose their offer over other similar ones. I think it can help when you have close offers and are deciding between them. Good luck!!
    Jstump2short+sassyei34
  • maine7mob said:
    This is absolutely a regional thing. In some areas, where there are multiple offers at similar prices, a letter like yours can put your offer at the top. And it really depends on how attached the seller is to their home.

    But in some areas, it's all about the offer, and whether the potential buyers can come through.

    We live in Maine, where housing prices have gone up 20% over the past year. My daughter and SIL looked for a year, losing out on places because they did not bid enough over the asking price. Last August, they beat out 15 (yes, fifteen) other offers nor by their letter, but by their bid, which was 24,000 above listed price.

    They are now friends with a family who told them that they were one of the other bidders on their house. The sellers liked their letter best, but my daughter and her family got the house just because they offered more. 

    So sometimes, it is just about the money.

    And I sure hope my kids get their money back our of their house!
    That's why I find it surprising that buyer letters can be a thing for some areas.  I'll have to ask my realtor next time we are chit-chatting if that is common here.

    I love my personal home and am definitely attached to it.  But, if I were to sell it, it is ALL about the offer.  I'd read letters that were given to me, but it wouldn't affect my decision.  Definitely not knocking sellers who are swayed by buyer letters.  It's just hard for me to understand why it would be a factor for some on such a large and potentially complicated sale.  Perhaps I'm just a heartless, monster, lol.

    @Jstump2, oh!  I also meant to compliment you on one of the last lines..."we are flexible and would be happy to let you pick whatever closing date might work best for you."  That's the kind of nitty-gritty statement that would be appealing to any seller.  Even someone like me, lol.
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  • Jstump2 said:
    @short+sassy Oh yes, when we bought our current house (9 years ago) it was a buyers market and we would never show our hand like in this letter. We actually got an amazing deal and that has put us in a very good position to gain a hefty profit! But the current Market houses are selling for asking or slightly higher so there isn't really any haggling to be had. It is very much a sellers market right now, which we are hoping pays off when we sell our current home!

    We were one of multiple (15+) on other homes we have made offers on and every time we were one of the top offers being considered but lost out every time. We are hoping a nice offer plus a nice letter will get us this house without him having to go to market.
    I forgot you all own the house you are currently in.  I'm sure it will be nice to be on the other side of that coin!

    I have friends who live in VA.  The husband is especially interested in personal finance.  He's been completely shocked and elated at the substantial amounts that homes in his area are being sold for right now.  But then he laments...to sell his house and get a handsome profit...he would have to buy a house in that same seller's market!

    There are certainly ways around it.  Sell the house now and rent an apartment for a year or so until the market (maybe) cools back down.  Or downsize their house.  But they have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old so, understandably, none of that is happening, lol! 
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  • Jstump2Jstump2 member
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    It seems like multiple offers are the norm right now. So in theory, if we are going up against other offers that are similar or virtually the same, the hope is the offer letter is the feather that tips the scale in our favor. Thanks @short+sassy we have no immediate need to move so I thought that might be appealing to some sellers. I think we are putting our best foot forward the only offers we can't really compete with is cash.
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  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
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    Jstump2 said:
    @short+sassy Oh yes, when we bought our current house (9 years ago) it was a buyers market and we would never show our hand like in this letter. We actually got an amazing deal and that has put us in a very good position to gain a hefty profit! But the current Market houses are selling for asking or slightly higher so there isn't really any haggling to be had. It is very much a sellers market right now, which we are hoping pays off when we sell our current home!

    We were one of multiple (15+) on other homes we have made offers on and every time we were one of the top offers being considered but lost out every time. We are hoping a nice offer plus a nice letter will get us this house without him having to go to market.
    I forgot you all own the house you are currently in.  I'm sure it will be nice to be on the other side of that coin!

    I have friends who live in VA.  The husband is especially interested in personal finance.  He's been completely shocked and elated at the substantial amounts that homes in his area are being sold for right now.  But then he laments...to sell his house and get a handsome profit...he would have to buy a house in that same seller's market!

    There are certainly ways around it.  Sell the house now and rent an apartment for a year or so until the market (maybe) cools back down.  Or downsize their house.  But they have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old so, understandably, none of that is happening, lol! 
    This is what I've been telling H when trying to convince him we should sell our house and downsize. He says that even downsizing we wouldn't be able to afford a house that we would want. I say rent util the market cools then buy! I haven't convinced him yet though. Every time we have the whole family home he reminds me how much we enjoy having this size house!
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
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    maine7mob said:
    This is absolutely a regional thing. In some areas, where there are multiple offers at similar prices, a letter like yours can put your offer at the top. And it really depends on how attached the seller is to their home.

    But in some areas, it's all about the offer, and whether the potential buyers can come through.

    We live in Maine, where housing prices have gone up 20% over the past year. My daughter and SIL looked for a year, losing out on places because they did not bid enough over the asking price. Last August, they beat out 15 (yes, fifteen) other offers nor by their letter, but by their bid, which was 24,000 above listed price.

    They are now friends with a family who told them that they were one of the other bidders on their house. The sellers liked their letter best, but my daughter and her family got the house just because they offered more. 

    So sometimes, it is just about the money.

    And I sure hope my kids get their money back our of their house!
    That's why I find it surprising that buyer letters can be a thing for some areas.  I'll have to ask my realtor next time we are chit-chatting if that is common here.

    I love my personal home and am definitely attached to it.  But, if I were to sell it, it is ALL about the offer.  I'd read letters that were given to me, but it wouldn't affect my decision.  Definitely not knocking sellers who are swayed by buyer letters.  It's just hard for me to understand why it would be a factor for some on such a large and potentially complicated sale.  Perhaps I'm just a heartless, monster, lol.

    @Jstump2, oh!  I also meant to compliment you on one of the last lines..."we are flexible and would be happy to let you pick whatever closing date might work best for you."  That's the kind of nitty-gritty statement that would be appealing to any seller.  Even someone like me, lol.
    I was talking about this with a friend who is in real estate. From what she said, buyers are trying to come in over asking and want to be the highest. If you're financing, you're capped at whatever the house will appraise for. So theoretically with knowledgeable buyers' agents, you're likely to have multiple offers at the same or similar price. The letters are meant to help differentiate. Outside of traditional buyers, you have a lot of investors who can offer better terms and aren't as restricted by financing. Your typical buyer simply can't compete with an all cash offer.  

    On the flip, she also said that some agents are starting to be a little nervous about presenting these letters, because it's starting to veer into crossing lines of fair housing and ethics. People are inherently biased to prefer people who seem like them. There's some concern that one decision here and one decision there can add up to systemically excluding buyers by race, age, and sexual orientation, especially in areas that are historically not very diverse. 
    STARMOON44charlotte989875short+sassy
  • @MyNameIsNot yeah they are very very clearly being used to further discrimination and I’m surprised they haven’t been banned. 
  • The renter's market is also hot.  Between covid and the seller's market, I'm seeing places rent, as someone put it "your ugly 90s ranch house for urban loft prices".  I've been floored at what some apartments and especially houses are trying to rent for in my area, which is also experiencing a seller's boom.  It's one of the reasons I haven't moved because I really can't get something comparable without losing a lot of benefits and not really saving that much money at the end of the day b/c of loss of said benefits.

    I have a handful of real estate agent friends and they all say they've had clients do a letter, but it's always been about the money in their experience.
    charlotte989875
  • VarunaTT said:
    The renter's market is also hot.  Between covid and the seller's market, I'm seeing places rent, as someone put it "your ugly 90s ranch house for urban loft prices".  I've been floored at what some apartments and especially houses are trying to rent for in my area, which is also experiencing a seller's boom.  It's one of the reasons I haven't moved because I really can't get something comparable without losing a lot of benefits and not really saving that much money at the end of the day b/c of loss of said benefits.

    I have a handful of real estate agent friends and they all say they've had clients do a letter, but it's always been about the money in their experience.

    SIB:

    According to the real estate forum I frequent, that is area specific also.  Rents and home prices have actually gone done a lot in HCOL areas...like NYC and San Fran.  Rental prices are down about 20% for those areas.

    On the other side of the coin, a lot of areas have seen demand go up and rents with it.  

    But even outside of those HCOL areas, which are unusual rental markets to begin with, it just depends.  Some areas have also seen rental demand swing widely over the last year.  

    For NOLA, it seemed like rental demand was fever pitch last summer with rents a bit higher than normal.  And unlike most places, summer is usually one of the worst times to have a rental vacancy.  Nobody wants to move in 100+, high humidity weather, lol.  Now it seems like both demand/prices are more pre-pandemic levels.

    Really strong evidence is HANO...the city agency that manages the federal Section 8 (federal rent assistance) program...has actually lowered their maximum rental rates for 2021 as compared to 2020.  They look at massive aggregate data to set those.  And not just for the city as a whole.  For each zip code.
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  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
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    Jstump2 said:
    I'm sure you all are sick of hearing about my never-ending house hunting. Lol. We had an interesting scenario come up and I want some advise. Our agent recently sold a home that she was the sellers-agent for to a guy that was acting as his own agent. He mentioned to her that he was going to be selling his current home soon and they got to talking and she thought it sounded perfect for us. She sent us the address and based on the last listing (1 year ago) I think it will be! Well he agreed to let us come have a look before he lists it so this could be our in! I thought it was odd that he was selling so soon since it was sold only a year ago but our agent said he is selling because his partner passed away recently :( 

    We are supposed to go look later this week but we love the location and are pretty good at gauging from pictures so barring any surprises we plan on making an offer. I have a draft written, but I am not sure if I am saying the right things. Anyone with experience writing house offer letters with advise I will gladly take! 
    IMO - This is what you have a realtor for and are paying them handsomely to manage.  This is at the end of the day a business transaction and the house hasn't been listed so even if he shows it to you, could decide to keep it, or he may be ready for a quick flip to get out from under debt that he took on with a now late partner that either they sell or lose it to the bank.  Prove that you're the easiest to work with for a fair price to get the deal done, it doesn't matter your buzz words, but the seller's and either way get the thorough home inspection (!!!!).  Of the properties I've been involved in, the only communications that mattered at the end of the day "Money transfer good - sign paperwork - hand over keys!" and business transaction/legalities/technicalities it's best to let the realtor do the talking.  
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  • kvrunskvruns member
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    @Jstump2 any house updates?
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