Dear Mr Seller Letter

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

  1. Make an emotional statement about how much they love your house
  2. Talk about seeing themselves (and their growing family) living there
  3. Reflect on how much better their lives would be living in such a well loved home
  4. Share how they’re so stressed out with making offers on houses they don’t get and
  5. 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.

Why People Love Zillow

I am always amazed about why people love Zillow. As a real estate professional, I understand Zillow appears to have the market cornered. They have a great website that’s easy to use and they seem to have all the answers. That’s what they have going for them.

But at the same time, it’s hard to believe their information is so inaccurate and yet people tend to believe everything they find on Zillow. I hear it day in and day out…

“Zillow says my house is worth $400,000. My natural thought is, “Has Zillow ever been to your house?”

Or the other one…

“How much is the house at 123 Main Street?” My response is “That house sold last year.”

Their natural response is, “No it didn’t, it’s on Zillow.”

And then it starts. When people tell me what they found on Zillow, I know I’m in big trouble trying to prove Zillow is wrong when I already know how much people love Zillow.

What is Zillow?

According to Wikipedia:

“Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help.”

Actually, Zillow is a computized database that allows you to search for homes and estimates your home’s value. Neither of those is very accurate. But one thing is for sure, once you give them your information, they will sell it. That’s what they are very good at…getting you to give them your information.

The Zillow Zestimate

One of Zillow’s unique features is the Zillow Zestimate where consumers can see how much homes are worth. Zillow’s algorithms update property values three times a week, which comes from public data and from data submitted by users.

According to Zillow, most Zestimates are “within 10 percent of the selling price of the home.”

10%? On a $300,000 house, their Zestimate could be off $30,000 either way – too high or too low.

A Perfect Example of an Inaccurate Zestimate

In July of 2015, Zillow’s CEO, Spencer Rascoff, sold his house. The Zillow Zestimate said his house was worth $1,750,405. That alone would be a reason why people love Zillow. That’s like hiring an agent to sell your house that tells you they can sell your house for more than any other agent without any data to back it up. Prove it.

However, his house actually sold for $1.05 million which was 19% below his original list price. Does that make you believe the people at Zillow have all the answers?

The day after his house sold, the Zillow Zestimate once again said the house was worth $1,750,405 which is why Zillow should never be used to determine the market value of your home.

The Truth about Zillow

What Zillow is really good at is keeping consumers in their loop, giving you information about a home that might be available or could already be sold. When you give Zillow your name and contact info, they capture it and then sell it back to the agents that provided them with the listing in the first place.

Zillow has agents around the country that pay top dollar for those leads. (We are not those agents). They also pressure some Realtors into entering into costly advertising contracts just to protect and maintain their very own listing information. Buying leads is expensive and that’s why you will hear from an agent as soon as you enter your contact information. That agent just paid big bucks to try to nab you as a client.

The only SOLD information Zillow ever receives is when an agent goes in and updates their own listing. Zillow doesn’t want to have houses that are sold on their site so that’s why they don’t update it when a house sells. SOLD houses don’t attract buyers. Zillow wants every house to be available.

Zillow wants you to inquire about any house you see. Capturing your information is what they want to do so they can sell it back to the agents and any other businesses that want you as their customer as well. Selling your information is not in their Wikipedia description.

What Else Does Zillow Own?

These are other entities Zillow owns:

  1. Buyfolio
  2. Diverse Solutions
  3. dotloop
  4. Hotpads
  5. Mortech
  6. Mortgage Lenders of America
  7. Naked Apartments
  8. Postlets
  9. RentJuice
  10. Retsly
  11. StreetEasy
  12. Trulia

It seems as though, they want to acquire any real estate related company that has a huge database behind it.

Keller Williams had a contract with dotloop which helped them with the storage and signing of real estate documents online. When Zillow bought dotloop, Gary Keller ended that relationship. He didn’t want KW’s customer information to be readily available to Zillow. Good for him!

Want a Better Way to Search for Local Real Estate?

Whether you are looking at houses for the fun of it or for real, you don’t have to go to Zillow to do that. Zillow doesn’t have the most accurate information available. That’s why you’ll see a house that sold a year ago show up on Zillow as an active listing.

There are better ways to find out what’s for sale locally and discover the real value of your home versus the Zillow Zestimate without having your information sold. You can:

  • Search local homes for sale with our app through Heartland MLS
  • Receive your home’s current value based on recent activity in your neighborhood
  • Call or text (913) 515-3250 for a quick walk through of your house to see how it actually compares to other homes that have sold in your neighborhood
  • Contact us here and we’ll get right back to you! And we won’t hound you because we paid for the lead.:)

Overland Park Real Estate During the Pandemic

As if you didn’t already know, selling and buying Overland Park real estate during the pandemic has changed. If you’re thinking of selling or buying a home in Overland Park, there are several things to consider. Real estate has developed a new normal during this Corona Virus Pandemic. Times are uncertain. It’s our goal to provide you with all the best information possible with Overland Park real estate during the pandemic…and moving forward.

Even though the stay at home order is over, many sellers and buyers are still concerned about the risk of exposing themselves to COVID-19. As professional Realtors, we are following the recommended guidelines. We have a Protection Plan in place to deal with all the possible risks for both sellers and buyers.

Is this a good time to sell your home in Overland Park?

It’s still a seller’s market for Overland Park real estate during the pandemic. There is about a month and a half of inventory currently on the market. There were 1,200 resale homes listed and 1,189 homes went under contract in June 2020. In addition, there were 1,020 closed sales in Johnson County in June. Plus list price to sale price was up again at 99.7%.

We always say the best time to sell your home is when it’s right for you. If this is your time, it’s definitely a great opportunity to sell.

Most important, we will make certain that any buyers entering your home are pre-approved for their home loan. In addition, we will provide all of the personal protective equipment necessary to make sure your home and your family are well protected.

Is this a good time to buy a home in Overland Park?

There is still a shortage of homes in Overland Park that are priced right and that look good. Whenever a great house comes on the market, there is always a flood of activity from pent up buyers. With that shortage of homes and interest rates still at an all time low, buyers are still making multiple offers.

How does unemployment affect the real estate market?

Unemployment is sure to hurt Overland Park real estate during the pandemic. Many people may become unable to pursue their current goals of selling or buying a home. Also, there is certain to be an increase of inventory due to homeowners suffering a financial hardship and needing to sell.

In conclusion

Your most important decision when considering selling or buying Overland Park real estate during the pandemic is to choose the right Realtor. Melinda Bartling is experienced, well informed and ready to do business in these special times. As the market continues to change daily, it’s important to choose your Realtor based on their skill of closing transactions successfully and interpreting the ever so changing market trends of Overland Park real estate during the pandemic and in the uncertain future.

If you would like to have a confidential conversation about whether this is a good time for you to sell or buy a home in Overland Park, please call or text us direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact us here.

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.

How to Sell Your Home in Overland Park

There is always a lot of discussion around how to sell your home in Overland Park. Several years ago, Fortune Magazine, published an article about the only 3 things that mattered when selling your home.

Only 3 things? There are so many things to consider when selling your home. But at the end of the day, they all fit into 3 categories and the only 3 things that matter are:

1. The list price

2. The way your home looks

3. The Realtor you choose

These are the only 3 things that matter when it comes down to how to sell your home in Overland Park. Everything else is in the details.

Pricing Your Home to Sell

The list price – above all else, you’ve got to price your home correctly. I don’t care whether it’s a seller’s market, buyer’s market or balanced market. The right price is going to get buyers into your home and get it sold if you follow the next 2 steps.

Staging Your Home to Attract the Most Buyers

The way your home looks is huge. Your home for sale has to look amazing. After all, selling your home starts with proper preparation and ends with a fabulous presentation of the finished result. Great home staging in my book often raises the price by a good $5,000 -$10,000. But don’t expect more money if your home doesn’t look fabulous. A great looking house gets buyers more emotional, makes them fall in love and willingly pay you more money for it. That’s when you can negotiate your price way up!

The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two very different ways. Having your house on the market is not the time to slack off. You must be on your very best game 24/7 before and during all showings. Buyers are looking for the Goldilocks Effect in the house they are going to buy. Don’t be the reason they won’t be generous with their offer – if they make one. The right look will always get you the right offer.

Choosing the Right Realtor

Your Realtor controls the entire process of how to sell your home in Overland Park. They are the most important person in the equation. It’s their decision what happens and when. From the right price to the right look, your Realtor is running the show. Be sure to ask lots of questions. Choose someone who is getting the results you want. Don’t choose them because they have the biggest team of agents. It only takes one agent to sell your home…the one who is paying attention and making it happen. Your results will be determined by the Realtor you choose. Choose carefully! Your Realtor will make you thousands or cost you thousands. You decide.

How to Sell Your Home in Overland Park

Selling your home in Overland Park is pretty basic and straight-forward. When you’re selling your home and understand that buyers expect a price that’s based on fair market value and a fabulous looking house, you’ll be on your way to multiple offers and more money in your pocket. Cha-ching!

If you want to sell your home faster, easier and end up with more money, text or call us direct at (913) 515-3250 or contact us here. Let’s have a short conversation about your home selling goals, how we sell our average staged home in 3 days or less and how we get you more money!

Click here for your home’s real value versus the Zillow Zestimate or call or text us at (913) 515-3250 for a FREE 20 minute walk through.

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.

Search all Overland Park homes for sale here.