Love Letters

americaMy partner Taylor and I have a fierce, running debate about “love letters” from buyers to sellers. For those of you who do not know what a real estate “love letter” is, this article is going to provide the basics.

As I am primarily a listing agent, love letters are a source of constant amusement to me. These letters are filled with happy nothings about what people love about the house they are bidding on and graphic descriptions of their children and pets. A truly classic love letter will mention the buyer having a dream about living there.

“Love letters” serve as a cover letter to an offer, and I scan them quickly before getting to the next page that outlines the terms of the offer. Unfortunately, as much as I like to scoff at the love letters, and Taylor never lets me forget this, they actually do work.

Love letters make listing agents and sellers prick up their ears when reviewing offers. The majority of them are trite and cliché, but a good one really makes the offer standout in competition. Here is where I turn it over to the master of love letters, Taylor, who is going to school us in their construction:

Thanks, America. May your cynicism be an inspiration to us all!

There are two great reasons for writing a “love letter” to the Seller. One: You get to express your commitment to the purchase of the house. Two: You turn your boring purchase agreement into a document that was crafted by real people who really want to buy this house.

Sellers who still live, or have recently lived, at the home are often emotionally invested in the property. They have worked hard to make the house attractive and comfortable. They may have raised kids or pets, and likely have many fond memories. Think of them as birth parents having to give up their baby. They want to know that their home is going to a good home.

Then there are Sellers who are either investors or don’t live at the property. Even these folks are often emotionally invested in the properties they are selling. They probably like the house, at least, and would like someone to appreciate the work they’ve done to make it nice. Even if they don’t care, a well crafted ‘love letter” can show them how serious you are about the property. Your commitment in the letter can demonstrate your willingness to see the process through.

“Love letters” are broken into four parts:

Introduction

Keep it crisp and friendly. Thank them for bringing the property on the market. Tell them how you have been looking for “some time” and that this house is perfect for you.

About yourself

Tell the Sellers your story. Without going overboard, introduce yourself, your kids and your pets. Let them know where you are from, what you do for a living and what you like to do for fun. In order to help craft the letter, make sure to pay attention when you go to the open house. Take notes of any details that might help you connect to the Sellers.

Pictures of Hawaii and you love Hawaii? Mention it. Is there a dog door? Emphasize how little your French bulldog Tulip loves to run outside. Be sincere in everything you say. No one like a phony! At some point, this house was the perfect house for these Sellers, so it’s likely you will share other qualities as well.

About the house

Take some time to share details that you love about the house. Again, be sincere and point out features that really speak to you. Ex: “I love the built-ins!” “I’ve always wanted to have a Wolf range.” “The backyard landscaping is magical.” This works for both Sellers and investors. They like when you’ve taken an interest in the work they’ve done and appreciate it.

About the neighborhood

Compliment the neighborhood as well. Even a dicey neighborhood can be called “vibrant.” It further shows your commitment to that property if you know where it is. “I love that I can walk to coffee and the park nearby,” or “I have friends in the area and have been coming to this neighborhood for years.” Hopefully, by the time you’re putting in an offer, you’ve walked around the block a couple of times and have an idea of what the area is like.

Aside from compliments and the pulling of heart strings, Sellers are looking for certainty above all else. They want to know that you are very committed to the process. Falling out of contract happens, and it’s
time-consuming and expensive. No Seller wants to go back on the market. Your letter to the Sellers shows them your commitment to follow through the thick and thin.

We hope this little writer’s workshop helps out. If you’re looking for some in-depth presentation pointers, give us a call.

America Foy and Taylor Sublett are top producing real estate agents with Sotheby’s International Realty in Berkeley. Call or email them if you want to buy or sell residential, commercial, or investment properties throughout the Bay Area. Bay Area natives, and recent East Bay residents, Taylor and America will help you sell in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. America Foy: 510-473-7775, america.foy@sothebysrealty.com; Taylor Sublett: 510-301-9569, taylor.sublett@sothebysrealty.com