What are the PROS/CONS on "Dear Seller" letters?

Asked by kayy444, Grand Junction, CO Wed Nov 20, 2013

I read a lot online about buying homes that aren't for sale...People just write the home owners letters offering their interest on their homes and make them an offer, even thought it isn't for sale.. Sometimes they work out and sometimes they don't.
Anyone have any suggestions or advice about these?

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Mack McCoy’s answer
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Wed Nov 20, 2013
"Sometimes" is measurable. 99% of the time, they do not work.

Homeowners receive a lot of mailings soliciting their listings, telling them about neighborhood sales, offering free market analyses - they get a lot of mail. They are not likely to sell just because they receive an offer in the mail.

All the best,
2 votes
Jill Murty, Agent, Mission Viejo, CA
Thu Nov 21, 2013
"Dear Seller" letters can spark a response. This time of year, people considering selling their homes often think there won't be interest and choose to wait until after the holidays to list. In my view, now is a great time to drop letters and talk to neighbors.

About a week and a half ago, I dropped letters in my clients' target neighborhood. It is a community of less than 100 homes. I received two responses and showed both properties to my client.

The key to anything you do is authenticity. If you need a loan, be pre-approved for one prior to dropping the letters and be prepared to pay market value. In addition to those items, your letter should outline the features you want in a home, what you're flexible on as well as any "must haves".

Homeowners receive pitch letters all the time from liar Realtors who don't actually have a buyer for their home, so homeowners are rightly skeptical. Homeowners will question you. Best practice is to be open and answer their questions.

I don't know how homeowners will react to an individual dropping letters saying they want to purchase their home. Safety is the first thing that comes to mind. People may think you want access to their home to harm or steal from them.

Again, authenticity is the key. Provide information about yourself or enlist the assistance of a Realtor to draft, print and drop the letters, receive inquiries and arrange for showings should you receive any responses.

Importantly and so much unlike this response, keep it concise.
2 votes
Kirk Fender, Agent, Grand Junction, CO
Wed Nov 20, 2013
I have run into the situation where buyers of mine want to be in a certain neighborhood. Yet there are no homes for sale in that neighborhood. As an agent it is just part if the job to go and "door knock" the area. It is not the most efficient prospecting tool but by far but is the most effective. A letter in the mail may seem to a seller like "spam" or "junk mail". This method also leaves you with no feedback. It is sometimes a tough job and takes courage but you aren't going to find a diamond in the rough without getting a little dirty.
1 vote
Mark Wingert…, Agent, Grand Junction, CO
Wed Nov 20, 2013
They can certainly work. My thought is that if the home isn't on the market, they may not be very willing to come down on price. They don't have a lot of motivation if they haven't listed their house. But, if you want to be in a certain neighborhood, or they just have your dream house, it may be worth while. You may get lucky and snatch up a deal, but I'd say it's unlikely.
1 vote
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