Are “Love Letters” the Key to Getting Your Dream Home?

real estate love letter andthenwesaved.com

If you don’t live in Denver than you may not have heard that Denver’s real estate market is INSANE right now, and there just aren’t enough homes (or rentals) to keep up with all of the growth that’s happening here. House prices and rental prices have sky-rocketed, most houses are going under-contract within 24 hours of going on the market, and buyers are even offering significantly more than the asking price on homes just to become the top bidder and increase their chances of getting their offer accepted. To say that it’s a seller’s market would be a massive understatement.

So what are you supposed to do if you don’t have the most money to offer? How are you supposed to even be considered in such a competitive market? Well, the other day I was chatting with a friend of mine, Nita, who’s a real estate agent here in town and she was telling me about how buyers are setting themselves apart from the pack by writing what she called “Love Letters” to the sellers. She told me about a couple of situations where her buyers didn’t have the highest offer but “won” the home because of the personal touch that the letter provided. Pretty awesome, right?

I asked Nita to tell me a bit more about these “Love Letters”…

“I have personally been involved in homes selling within 24 hours with multiple bids. One successful strategy I have used for my clients is to utilize what we call a Love Letter.

A Love Letter is a way to tug at the heartstrings of sellers where you essentially paint a picture of why you love their home. The letter is then submitted along with the official offer on the home, and the pre-approval letter from the lender. This is a very effective technique because most sellers want to know that their home will be loved and cared for in the future.

To write a successful letter you’ll want  to convey to the seller’s the reasons that you love the home. You’ll want the letter to only be about 1 to 2 paragraphs long, so do your best to get your passion for the home across in a succinct way.

Here’s an example of what you may want to include:

‘We absolutely love your home! From the moment we walked in we could envision ourselves living there — cooking dinner in the beautiful kitchen, spending family time together in the living room, and hosting BBQ’s on the back deck while the children play outside. Most importantly, we can picture raising our family there.’

Below is an excerpt from a Love Letter that one of my seller’s was on the receiving end of and because of the personal touch the buyer won the bid despite there being competing offers on the home. The seller’s chose this offer because they could feel the buyer’s passion and they liked hearing that the vintage elements of the home would be respected and kept in tact; two things that were very important to the seller.

‘This is the first home I’ve purchased on my own and I am very excited about the possibility of being the proud owner of this property! I plan on doing some improvements that stay true to the period of your home. I want to spend my time fixing the yard up, adding beautiful flowers that will come back year after year for myself and the neighbors to enjoy. Since viewing your property, I’ve even explored purchasing 50’s/60’s style furniture and found the best 1950’s patio set that would be absolutely perfect for the backyard.’

In both cases the seller’s stated that the Love Letter had put the buyer in the lead. Your Realtor will want to establish a relationship with the other agent so that besides what you notice inside the home, you can find out what is important to the seller’s. By knowing what’s important to the seller you will be able to address what’s important to them.”

I was curious if there were any situations where a Love Letter should not be used. Nita said that, “A Love Letter probably wouldn’t work for a fix-and-flip. If the seller has not lived in the home, he or she wouldn’t have memories to ponder, and they are only focused on the bottom line.”

Thanks Nita!

If you need an agent contact Nita Kolarsick at Nita@NitaHome.com or by phone at 303-250-8280.

 

Have you heard about Love Letters before? Do you have any experience with them? I’m curious what you think about this concept. 

8 comments

8 thoughts on “Are “Love Letters” the Key to Getting Your Dream Home?

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  1. Casey Mounce

    My husband and I purchased our first home in California last summer after having been recently married the October before. We ended up winning our seller over with the “love letter” we wrote, our real estate agent even had us include a wedding photo for her. We got a great first place and a seller that felt good knowing we were going to love the home as much as she did!

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  2. emily

    I did not have to write a “Love Letter” to get my house in Seattle, but I did ask my agent to mention very early on in all contact with sellers that I am a grade school teacher. People like to be nice to teachers! If you’re a teacher, don’t ever forget this and use it to your advantage whenever possible. You’ve earned it!

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  3. kap39

    It’s so crazy – I was talking to my parents who just sold their house in one day (!) and they said their buyer wrote them a love letter (although they also came in well above asking price). I had no idea this was a thing, but apparently it’s becoming the norm, and not just in Denver!!

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  4. Katelyn Mattox

    I am a homeownership coordinator working with low income, first time homebuyers who often have low pre-quals and very restrictive loans terms in regard to location and specifics. I only recently started suggesting this to clients (although never called it a “love letter” and I LOVE the phrase) as we have a very competitive housing market here as well. I can’t believe the success! The process of buying a home can be so bureaucratic and disingenuous, a personal letter can really make the difference when a seller is looking at a stack of cold offers. I even use a personal example of my childhood home where my parents spent countless hours on the landscaping. We were promised by our buyer they valued yard work also, only to find out how heartbreaking it was when they weren’t even mowing the grass! They don’t say “home is where the heart is” for no reason!

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  5. Meredith

    We have the same sort of housing market situation in Austin, TX, right now and it’s nuts! Houses are getting multiple offers within 24hrs, and some of these are cash deals. I definitely wrote a love letter to go along with an offer, and though I didn’t make the cut, the agent let me know that the sellers did think I had a strong offer.
    For first time home buyers without a lot of cash to throw down, this is the one wild card I will keep playing until I get a house! It’s motivation to write an even better letter next time. You never know who’s reading these, they may be very sentimental about that house.

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  6. andee

    We sold our first home last year in one day on the market. As a seller I wouldn’t read “love letters” from potential buyers. Selling your house is stressful enough why would you add emotional weight to the already stressful process. It feels like manipulation to me. Selling our house was a financial decision for the betterment of my family and there was no way I would allow other people’s emotions to influence our decision.

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  7. Claudia

    2 years of searching and 10 offers later my husband and I finally bought a house! We are in CA (central coast) and it is definitely a sellers market. I think in the last 6 offers we wrote “Love letters” including the last one. I don’t know how much of a difference it made but it certainly can’t hurt. Unfortunately I think that for most people money trumps feelings.

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  8. Ali

    We totally did this in Seattle. Our place had 4 offers on it the first weekend it went on the market and this was in 2009! But, our real estate agent jumped on it and wrote a love letter. It totally worked! The other offers were all investors, so hearing about a young couple in love with their home sealed the deal :)

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