July 20, 2021

The Anatomy of a Winning Real Estate Offer Letter

Ashley Walsh
by:
Ashley Walsh

After hours spent searching listings and touring homes, you've (finally!) found your dream house and you're ready to make an offer. 

Next step: crafting an offer that'll appeal to the seller so your dream home doesn't slip away.

One way to make a big impact? Your real estate offer letter.

Of course, most home-sellers' primary consideration is financial. However, when several comparable offers are on the table, a heartfelt letter that appeals to the buyer's emotions may be enough to tip the scales your way. One study shows that a personal offer letter increases an offer's likelihood of success by 52 percent!

Read on to learn more about crafting a winning real estate offer letter. 

What is a Real Estate Offer Letter?

An offer letter is an actual letter from a potential home buyer to the home seller. The letter contains details of the buyer's offer. The buyer's real estate agent delivers the letter to the seller's real estate agent. 

But these letters can be more than just a run-down of financial details. Rather, think of an offer letter as a chance for you to introduce yourself to the seller. It's a way to personalize what can otherwise be an impersonal transaction and — most importantly — make you stand out in a sea of potential buyers by making an emotional appeal.

Consider that many sellers feel a strong attachment to their home. After all, they've likely spent years living there and making memories. They want to know that their home will go to someone who loves and cares for it as much as they do.

A letter allows you to show why you want to buy the home and assures the seller that you are the buyer they should choose.

Why It's Important to Include an Offer Letter With Your Offer

In a hot housing market, competition for houses is fierce. Many home sellers receive multiple bids. When several of those bids are competitive, they've got a tough choice to make. 

An effective real estate offer letter can make you stand out, and tip the scales in your direction.

Think of it from the seller's perspective. The home selling process is defined by paperwork — lots and lots of it. After a while, all those stacks of papers and rows of numbers start to look the same. When a seller receives several offers that are all around the same price range and contain comparable contingencies, how are they supposed to make a decision?

Some sellers want a sign to point them to the "right" buyer... and a carefully crafted letter can turn you into the chosen one. A letter that lets the seller get to know you, explains why you love their house, and makes a strong appeal to their emotions (all while staying withing legal guidelines) may just do the trick.

Tips For Writing an Offer Letter That Makes You Stand Out

What, exactly, should you include in an offer letter? Start by grabbing a pen and paper. In today's digital and word-processed world, a handwritten letter (on nice stationery) will immediately stand out. 

An offer letter should:

  • Greet the seller by name
  • Introduce yourself
  • Explain why you love the home and why it's a perfect fit for your family
  • Include compliments that show that you're paying attention to details and that you'll take care of the home
  • Make a personal connection if possible
  • Explain your bid and any appropriate financial details, such as down payment and loan status
  • Offer thanks and reiterate (briefly) why you're the perfect buyer

Real Estate Offer Letter Template

Use this real estate offer letter example to get started.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Brown,

We're Susan and Issac Williams, and we wanted to thank you for the opportunity to make an offer on your beautiful home at 123 Grand Street. We visited your open house last week and my whole family fell in love. We've been searching in this neighborhood for over a year and were so excited to see yours come on the market.

I'm a teacher at the elementary school just around the block, and our two children (Caden, age 5, and Sam, age 7) go to school there, too. The thought of being able to walk to work and school is a dream! Caden and Sam were head over heels when they saw the treehouse in the backyard, too.

We loved the layout of the kitchen and could easily imagine ourselves cooking family dinners on those stunning countertops. Issac also noticed that you had a USC banner in the TV room and, as a fellow Trojan alum, knew that it was the perfect place to watch a game.

If our offer is accepted, we'll put in maximum effort to expedite the process and close escrow quickly. Since both Issac and I are veterans, we've been approved for a VA loan and can also offer $XX,XXX down payment. 

Thank you again for your consideration. We're so excited about the possibility of living in such a beautiful home in our dream neighborhood! We hope to hear from your agent soon.

Best, 

Susan and Issac Williams

What You Should Not Include in Your Letter

While you want your letter to help the seller get to know you, don't include the following:

  • Photos or personal details that violate the Fair Housing Act by specifying your color, disability status, familial status, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation
  • Too many financial details
  • Criticisms of the home or what you would change
  • Information that contradicts the purchase agreement
  • Whining or complaining
  • Dishonest or exaggerated statements

When writing your real estate offer letter, the key lies in sharing just enough personal detail to give the seller an idea of why you would appreciate and care for their home. Avoid anything that may violate the law or turn off a buyer, while keeping it short and sweet. 

These tips will help you craft a real estate offer letter that makes you stand out... and get the keys to that dream home.

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