It’s no myth, the market is hot and sellers are hold most the power. Currently, there are roughly 5,000 homes on the market in the Denver Metro Area and an estimated 5 times that in buyers. One piece of advice we give our clients when making an offer is to write a heartfelt letter to the sellers. This article from Realtor.com best explains how and why.
In romantic movies, the girl goes for the pompous jerk with millions of dollars while the sweet, caring guy does all the little things right. Winning over a seller can be like that common rom-com trope. But in this case, you don’t necessarily have to have the most money. And you don’t have to send roses or plan a meet-cute to get to closing day.
So how do you woo the seller of your dream home? We consulted several Realtors® and industry professionals to figure out the best ways to win a seller’s heart without throwing in more cash.
Write a (sincere) letter
Writing a letter can be effective, but you can’t crank out a generic form letter. As more and more buyers use letters to ingratiate themselves with sellers, you don’t want to sound exactly like everyone else.
“The use of these letters has become so widespread that it is hard to tell if they come from the heart or are just a manipulative ploy,” says Ron Rovtar, an associate broker at Cherry Creek Properties in Boulder, CO.
Instead, point out specific things you like about the home in the letter and add details about yourself and your family. If you plan to keep the house the same, that could be a clincher for some nostalgic sellers.
“I recently had a case where buyers won in a multiple-bid situation because they were going to restore the home opposed to modernize it,” says Craig McCullough, a Realtor at Evers & Co. in Washington, DC.
If you do plan to modernize, you probably don’t want to go into detail about how many walls you want to destroy for a new, chic master bathroom.
Your letter could also use a personal touch. Try adding a photo or video.
“I recommend my clients be fully expressed in a ‘buyer letter,’ because a seller who is going to choose based on the total package is making an emotional decision,” says Collin Bray, vice president of sales and co-owner of Century 21 Cityside in Boston, MA. “If you have a family, show a photo of your family. If you have a lovable puppy, share a photo of you and your dog. Be yourself, not what you think a seller will want.”
If you haven’t been pre-approved yet, you should consider it. Since getting pre-approved isn’t something every prospective buyer does, having that pre-approval letter can make you look like a more attractive, serious candidate.
“It’s a way to show sellers that you’re not just window-shopping,” says Dave Fry, a Realtor and co-owner of the Fry Group in Minnesota.
Just because you aren’t dealing with the seller directly doesn’t mean you should forget about manners. When you’re looking to get a seller’s attention, you should be on your best behavior and communicating your interest and sincerity through your Realtor.
“Saying ‘Thank you’ or ‘We appreciate what you did’ goes a long way,” says Jane Terrell, a broker and Realtor at Century 21 Four Seasons Realty in Gatlinburg, TN.
If a seller isn’t available one day because she or he has a previous engagement, Terrell advises communicating your understanding and appreciation of the situation.
“Set the stage for a cooperative negotiation and closing,” says Terrell.
Find a solid Realtor
One of the best ways to make sure buyer-seller communication flows well is to find the right Realtor.
“Realtors know each other, and working with someone who has a solid track record and good reputation can make all the difference. If the seller’s Realtor knows that your Realtor is reliable, honest, and professional, the sale will go a lot more smoothly for you both,” says Fry.
Talk to neighbors, family, and friends for recommendations for a good Realtor. You may need to interview multiple Realtors and go on a few home-search excursions to find one who feels right for the job.
It can take some extra time, but it may mean the difference between an unhappy missed connection or a pleasing long-term relationship with the home you love.
To learn more, call us at 303-225-3378