How do you make your offer stand out to sellers? A good, old-fashioned letter might do the trick. In competitive markets, it’s not uncommon for a house offer letter to be included in an offer on a house. We’ve broken down a sample offer letter and added some easy how-tos so you can write the strongest house offer letter you can—and make that house yours.
Here’s a sample offer letter, plus some tips:
1. Make your opener as personal as possible.
Get out your pen, yes, a pen (you want your letter to be authentic in every way) and a piece of good stationery. Before you get started, think about your tone. A house offer letter should be friendly and heartfelt.
Think creatively about how you address the letter. If you don’t know the owner’s name, you can still make a connection with how you address them, like this start of this sample offer letter:
Dear owners of the sweet, yellow Cape Cod with so much charm,
2. Tell them about yourself.
Many sellers like the idea of passing their home on to people who will care for it. A house offer letter is your chance to show the real person behind your offer paperwork. There’s no better way to create a human connection than helping the seller visualize your life.
My name is Anna, and my husband Jeff and I have been trying to find a neighborhood for years, and have fallen in love with yours. We think it’s the perfect place to raise a family. We’re expecting our second child in November and are looking for a little more space.
3. Point out the home’s attributes.
If the seller has lived in their home for years, odds are, they take pride in it. Even if you think it’s a fixer-upper, talk about the things you love about the house. Because who doesn’t like a compliment? In this sample offer letter, the buyer chooses a few things to point out.
We love to cook and have family over. The kitchen has such great counter space—I can just picture it holding our big Sunday dinner buffet. And I love that you’ve got a refrigerator that doesn’t show fingerprints. That will be a big help with our toddler and her cousins who always seem to have sticky hands.
And, I enjoy gardening. Of course, the first thing we noticed was your beautiful peony bush. We could tell how carefully you’ve tended to every aspect of your home…
4. Find a connection.
When you were viewing the house, did you notice the photos on the wall of children playing lacrosse? The same style of eat-in kitchen as the home you grew up in? Make a connection by mentioning what you saw.
I couldn’t help but notice the photo on the fireplace mantle of a young man graduating from Cornell. My dad grew up in Ithaca and went to school there. We spent a lot of time on Cayuga Lake with my grandmother. Go Big Red!
5. Explain your bid, even if it’s low.
Now you can move from emotion to numbers, something concrete. Be honest, polite and respectful; you don’t want them to feel as though you’re making excuses for your bid, but use your house offer letter as a way to give your offer price some context.
Although your home was a bit out of our price range, we had to take a chance on an offer because it’s everything we want and is in a great neighborhood for our family. We know you’re asking X, but we respectfully ask if you would consider Y. It’s the top of our budget range, and our goal is to turn our dream into a reality without overextending ourselves.
I work as X, and my husband does Y. We have already have mortgage pre-approval and are flexible about the date for closing on the house. We so much want this to work out well for you, as well as for our family.
6. Close with lots of thanks.
This is your closing argument and your last chance to weave in some flattery. Thank them and let them know you’re hoping to hear back from them.
Thanks so much for your time and consideration. We would be honored to live in the house that you’ve made into a beautiful home. We look forward to hearing back from you.
Did it work? If this sample offer letter does its job, and you have an accepted offer, it’s time to turn your mortgage pre-approval into a full-on home loan. Here’s a guide on how to get a mortgage.