If you are selling your home in today’s hot real estate market, would a Dear Mr Seller letter help you choose one offer over another? That’s a great question. Negotiating the highest price is usually the order of the day and what sellers care about the most.
Typically, when presented with more than one offer, you would choose the one that nets you the most money. But in today’s crazy real estate market, there are other factors that sometimes come into play – especially if there are two identical offers.
For example, I wrote an offer on a fixer upper ranch in a sought after, well established neighborhood. My buyers offered more than $15,000 over asking price and they didn’t get the house. The listing agent told me they had 2 offers that were the same and the sellers chose the young family. The young family? What did that mean other than apparently our competition wrote a Dear Mr Seller letter and included a photo to play up to the seller’s emotions.
What letter could my retired buyers have written to this older couple and still be able to compete with a young family who was just starting out in life, raising a family?
With 2 identical offers, how do you choose? Would a Dear Mr Seller Letter entice you to choose one offer over the other?
What Exactly is a Dear Mr Seller Letter?
Typically, as a buyer’s agent, I don’t know much about the seller when I write an offer for my buyers. First of all, it’s hard to even get the listing agent on the phone. Sometimes the buyer wants to know something more about the seller and especially why they are moving.
But depending on the circumstances, as a seller, would you tend to be swayed if the buyers wrote you an emotional letter? Some agents use it to their advantage but it can also backfire. What if the buyers said something that you took the wrong way or it offended you? Would you look at that offer differently?
A typical Dear Mr. Seller Letter would…
- Make an emotional statement about how much they love your house
- Talk about seeing themselves (and their growing family) living there
- Reflect on how much better their lives would be living in such a well loved home
- Share how they’re so stressed out with making offers on houses they don’t get and
- Indicate they could soon be homeless if they don’t find a house
And on and on. You get the point. Some agents will go so far as to include a photo of the buyers to include with the offer. As a listing agent, I’ve received letters like this and oftentimes my sellers felt it was a bit over the top and chose another offer instead. After all, depending on my sellers, this is a business transaction and there are many more negotiations to get through.
As a seller, do you really care who buys your house? As a buyer, do you really care about the people that live there? Maybe, but in our local market, typically the sellers and buyers will never see or meet each other. However, one wrong move by either party could put an end to the transaction.
Is the lack of inventory in the current real estate market suggesting I need to have a Dear Mr Seller Letter template? Can my buyers fill in the blanks so we’ll be ready when they find the perfect house and when we’re short on time?
Be Careful What You Say
I recently received a Dear Mr Seller letter on one of my listings. The buyers had a family photo at the top of the letter with a quote from The Bible. The buyers talked about how much they loved the home, the neighborhood, the floorplan of the home, and the unfinished basement with the workbench.
At the final walk through, the sellers had already moved out of town and the buyer’s agent told me the workbench in the basement would need to be removed prior to closing. I reached out to my seller and he reminded me of the Dear Mr Seller letter that talked about the workbench. Needless to say, the workbench was never brought up again.
I learned early on in real estate NEVER EVER discuss politics, religion or other people’s sports teams. Adding to that are your personal preferences on current events and your opinions of whatever is going on in the news. Bottom line, you will end up offending someone and if you are a buyer, you don’t want your opinions to insult the home seller.
Is it For You?
So be careful what you say in your Dear Mr Seller letter to make sure it doesn’t contain anything offensive or anything you don’t really mean. Fluff might come back and bite you in the you know what.
If you were a seller, what would convince you to take one offer over the other? Would you be emotionally swayed by a Dear Mr Seller Letter?
If you’re thinking of selling in the next few months, I’d love to help. Call me at (913) 515-3250 or contact me here for a FREE walk through of what you need to do to get your home ready for the market.
Click here for your INSTANT LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT versus the Zillow Zestimate.
Download our new app and tap into our local Heartland MLS system just like the Realtors do. It’s free for you with up to the minute accuracy. You’ll know about a house as soon as it comes on the market! Download the app here.