Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Writing a buyer’s letter to a home seller along with your offer is a personal way to introduce yourself.
The buyer’s letter phenomenon may not be hot of the press however it seems to be back in full force.
Not only is writing a buyer’s letter to a seller a heartfelt gesture it could be a foot in the door.
Believe it or not but not all home sellers want the highest offer as we learned from my parents and neighbour.
Today, I want to discuss important tips from a home seller and home buyer‘s perspective.
- Importance of bringing your best offer to the table
- Include a mortgage loan pre-approval letter or state whether you are a cash buyer
- Put down an ambitious deposit so they know you are serious
- Offer a quick closing date
- Drop many or all conditions on the home
- Writing a personal buyer’s letter to the home seller
- Interview realtors and find one that is assertive and persistent
- Example home buyer’s offer template included
Make Your Purchase Offer Stand Out
There is significant value for home buyer’s in a seller’s market to be ready when it’s a green light.
Housing prices in Canada have increased exponentially and it’s been tough negotiations for buyer’s.
Reducing the amount of stress when buying a home comes with many variables and the first is giving it your best shot.
You won’t win some offers, but if you back down you might lose your dream house.
Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market vs. Balanced Market
Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s market right now?
At the time of writing this blog post, it’s a seller’s market that can all change in an instant.
Homebuyers in Canada have been forced to bid far beyond what they’ve ever imagined for a house.
Millennials feel they will never own a home the way the real estate market is going.
Who can afford a $700,000 starter home?
Not many people or couples unless they have a massive downpayment.
In an attempt to cool the amount of qualified home buyer’s the Federal government has increased the minimum requirements that must be met.
Ottawa raised the level of the “stress test” for mortgages today, setting the new level at 5.25 percent — or two full percentage points above the borrower’s mortgage rate, whichever is higher. That’s an increase of about half a percentage point from where it was before.
The average price of a Canadian home sold in March went for $716,828, a figure that rose by more than 30 percent in a year. That was the biggest annual increase on record.CBC News New Stress Test Level 2021
Before you jump into purchasing real estate it’s important to know a few key details about home buying.
A buyer’s market occurs when there are lots of houses for sale and a seller’s market is when inventory is limited.
More importantly, a balanced market means there are enough houses for sale as there are buyers and prices are reasonable.
Crazy things happen with both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market which is why you need to be prepared to rumble.
I say that as if buying a house is a sport however, it’s a draining process especially when you lose out.
Housing Prices Dictated By Supply Shortage
RE/MAX Canada expected average residential prices to rise 4% to 6% in 2021
An ongoing housing supply shortage is likely to continue, presenting challenges for home buyers and putting upward pressure on prices.
Due to these factors, the 2021 RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook Report estimates a four to six percent increase in the average residential sales price nationwide.Remax Canada Housing Outlook 2021
Look at this chart provided by Remax Canada to see how the average residential sale prices have increased over the past few years.2021-housing-outlook-in-Canada
What I find interesting is that when we bought our home with a 25% downpayment of $265,000 we thought that was big money.
A Buyer’s Letter Softens The Offer
Looking at the prices of homes for many first-time buyers owning a home a dream upon a dream.
In other words, they may never get into a home and if they do it won’t be for a long while.
For example, I’ve mentioned in a recent post that our neighbour’s are moving out of Canada.
Soon after they put their home for sale, around 30 viewings were booked for the weekend.
They listed their home for $699,000 and had an offer for near $100,000 over asking.
While speaking with our neighbour over the fence as we often do he told us he couldn’t believe it.
The second day of viewings was cancelled and they received an offer as stated above and accepted it.
What made them not want to entertain any further offers?
I mean they had many more on Sunday who wanted to see the house and likely put in an offer.
It’s considered a starter home in a fantastic neighbourhood with pride of ownership that shows a 10+.
Do you know what he told us?
There were offers coming in but one offer, in particular, included a buyer’s letter with a family photo.
We were stunned to hear that home buyer’s were going to great lengths to win a home over the next person.
After they both read the buyer’s letter and offer, they stopped the process and sold the home.
Buyer’s Letter Is A Perk You May Want To Consider
What was in that letter we asked that captured you both emotionally?
He told us that they’ve taken such good care of the property and when they read the buyer’s letter, they knew they had found their match.
Many homeowners who have spent many years in a home become emotionally attached to it.
I’m going to say this was the case since he was in the back garden sharing a moment with me looking at their pink flowering Japanese tree.
You could tell they were sad to go, but there were better opportunities awaiting them overseas.
So, you see although he admitted they could have gotten another 50-60k for the house they ended it.
Money isn’t always the main influence for a home seller, especially if they are moving on.
Buyer’s Letter Is The Icing On The Cake
Here’s the best part or shall I say coincidental part of writing about a buyer’s letter today.
I hadn’t spoken to my mum and dad for a few months now, so I rang them up over the weekend.
We like to keep in touch, so we know what’s going especially since my parents are aging.
Both of us were shocked to find out that my parents had sold the family home.
They have owned it for 18 years and decided to sell it so they could move closer to my sister.
The house sold in one day and had multiple viewings and offers, which was great.
Then they tell me about a buyer’s letter they received with two of the offers.
Could you believe it?
Yes, in the UK, the buyer’s letter is a way into the seller’s heart.
My parents did sell the house to a couple with one child who included a personal letter about moving back home.
Apparently, her parents lived in the city, and they were aging, and she needed to be close to them.
That tugged on my parent’s hearts a bit, but they negotiated over the asking price and won.
The family home was listed for 175,000 pounds and sold for 200,000 pounds which is good for them.
Bring Your Final Offer First
The importance of bringing your best offer to the table in a seller’s market is imperative.
If you don’t, you’ll risk losing the house to someone else who is willing to beat your offer.
Pair that with little to no conditions, and you may be in the running.
Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter
Include a mortgage loan pre-approval letter or state whether you are a cash buyer.
A cash buyer is the same as a buyer with a mortgage however cash is the real deal.
When a potential buyer says that they are pre-approved, that still means anything could happen.
If you aren’t paying cash for a house which most people don’t have the money to do, bring your mortgage pre-approval letter.
Include that with your offer, and personal buyer’s letter to the homeowner and see what happens.
Show That You Are A Serious Buyer
Put down an ambitious deposit, so they know you are serious and want to buy the house.
When the seller sees that you put in more than a $500 deposit, they will know you are sincere.
When we bought our house, we put $1000 down to let her know we wanted it.
Offer A Quick Closing Date
When we bought our home in May 2009, we were renting a room, so we were able to have a quick closing.
This, coupled with the housing market on our side, secured and bought a home right away.
Today you have to get creative as the seller’s have plenty of buyer’s vying for their home.
If you can squeeze in a quick closing date, that’s a tick off the positive box.
Although, some sellers may have a longer closing, so if you’re ok with that, you may score too.
Drop Many Or All Conditions On The House
I know it may be a risk, but if you want to buy a house, you’ll drop many or all of the conditions.
Don’t be picky and rude if you write a letter because it will just waste your time.
Often you must overlook things that can easily be fixed, such as door handles and flooring.
Overcomplicating your buyer’s letter and telling the owners why it’s not worth as much is going to be an epic fail.
Perhaps you can do without a home inspection because someone in the family is in the trades.
Maybe one or both of your parents will have a look before you buy to see if there are any obvious issues.
Recently I know someone who won a bid on a house paying $100,000 over asking price.
The risk was big as she stumbled on a pool that needed thousands of dollars in upgrades.
As for the rest of the house, it was just shady renovations, but she wasn’t worried as she was renovating the entire home.
The gift was she finally got into a home during a seller’s market where she was continually let down.
Importance Of Writing A Buyer’s Letter To The Seller
Why would anyone want to write a personal buyer’s letter?
Well, in a seller’s market, plenty of viewings and offers will be on the table.
If you want to rank the highest or near the top, you need an edge over the next guy.
Writing a heartfelt letter to the sellers is a way to introduce yourself and let the buyer know why you want to buy their house.
As you’ve read above, you can see how property attachment can tug at heartstrings, and it’s not always about the money.
Below you will see a sample buyer’s letter that you can print and edit to take along with you.
I’ve stressed in other blog posts the importance of hiring the right realtor to work for you.
Not all realtors are out to make a quick buck, so hire a real estate agent with high recommendations.
There are many features in a real estate agent that you can look for based on your needs.
I’m not one for hiring friends to do work as a contractor or real estate agent, so consider what could be.
The last thing you want is to be unhappy and argue when you could have done it with someone you don’t know.
I’m not saying to argue, but if you do, at least when the deal is done, he/she walks away and is not part of your family reunion.
Sample Home Buyer’s Letter To The Seller
You can change the buyer’s letter below to include your personal information.
It is just a sample to give you an idea of what you can include in your letter.
Overall, be honest, and sincere and praise what the owner has done to the home.
Share what you liked about the home, and don’t include what you don’t like.
For an extra boost in the running, include a family photo or a photo of who you are.Sample-personal-buyers-letter-to-buy-a-home-
Overall Thoughts About A Buyer’s Letter
I believe a buyer’s letter is a great way to let the sellers know why you want to buy their home.
As well, I also think that if we were to sell our house that if a buyer included a letter, it may be an advantage.
Ultimately, money talks and if you have the highest bid with little to no conditions, you might be the owner of a new home.
Discussion: What are your thoughts about presenting a home seller with a personal buyer’s letter?
Have you done this, and how did it work out for you?
Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section below.