By Joe Van Acker
It’s no secret that the real estate market is on the mend, but there are plenty of secrets when it comes to snagging a home in a competitive market.
One bygone trick of the trade is making a comeback as homebuyers do battle with other bidders. That trick? Sending “love letters” – complete with photos – to sellers.
How to Approach a Personal Appeal
Of course, we don’t mean real, actual love letters, but emotional appeals that homebuyers can make to sellers – often in the form of personal letters – that introduce themselves in a more intimate fashion to the sellers and explain more fully their passion for the residency they’re hoping to buy. For instance, a recent Wall Street Journal piece on this strategy mentioned one couple who sent the home sellers a photo of their baby and two dogs, with a sign that read “We would love a big yard!” Another couple featured in the article sent the home seller a personal letter about their backgrounds, and included wedding pictures.
“Love letters” to home sellers can definitely be an effective way to differentiate your clients from the competition and add a definite personal touch to the homebuying process, but there are a number of guidelines your clients should follow, among them:
- Encourage your clients to talk about themselves in their letters. Sellers may choose a bid if they like the bidder or something about them, so they should sell themselves. Talking about their childhood, hobbies and family are all fair game.
- It’s especially helpful to include photos – after all, we’re visual animals! And speaking of animals, letters and photos can certainly include family pets.
- It’s also helpful to talk about the house. A lot of people have strong emotional attachments to their homes. If they see that your client loves something that they love, they might be more inclined to accept their bid. Letters can include visions of backyard activities and uses for rooms. That kind of detail may help a seller imagine your clients settling into their beloved abode.
Some Things To Avoid in Home Seller Love Letters
Of course, there are parameters that your clients should keep in mind, should they decide to compose a “love letter” to the home seller. For instance, though it’s great for clients to include personal details in their letters, but they shouldn’t go overboard. These letters shouldn’t come in volumes; clients should keep it short and sweet.
In a similar vein, letters should not get carried away with details regarding future plans, especially if those plans involve major renovations. Some people are surprisingly sensitive when it comes to imagining their home being violently crushed beneath the treads of a bulldozer.