A Love Letter For The Seller?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 Broker - Realtor

Home Buyers Letter To Seller

A Love Letter To The Seller?

Over the years, I have used this tactic when we write offer for our buyers.
Sellers are said to focus on price more than anything else, but in some instances we find that they are also human and they "want" to sell their home to some deserving family.
There are many reasonable requests you might make with an offer but when accompanied by a personal letter from the buyer.. it has an impact.

How to write a love letter to the seller?

The first step is to understand the seller’s mentality. There are different types of sellers,  from the emotional ones that HAVE to sell because they are being relocated to a banker dealing with yet another foreclosure.
Banks that need to get short sales and foreclosures off their books normally choose financially strong home buyers who can pay cash and close the deal quickly. They could care less about the buyers family or their intentions.. . really?
After all, who is making the decision for the bank?
Its a human person with feelings and emotions.
I recall one instance where my buyer got picked over higher offers because he was in the Navy and the seller was a Navy veteran with many years of service. . Ok, I cheated a little bit, I saw the decoration in their home while I was showing it and my buyer took full advantage of it.

But can a lender selling a foreclosure  be swayed by emotional factors as well?
My answer is . . It can't hurt. There is always a chance something will work but only after is done.
After all, your chance is zero if the buyer does not write a letter.

The content of your letter should be geared to the seller based on know facts. . .here are a few tips:

Relocation and they hate to leave? A love letter is a must for them and very family member oriented . . .the cheesier the better. 
Regular seller with unknown intentions?  Focus on their pride and the beautiful improvements in the house. . your family will appreciate it for years to come.
Short Sale?  Very tactful letter. . focusing on your patience to wait it out and willing to go the distance because you understand the short sale process.
Foreclosure?   If you want to buy a  bank-owned home, you’ll need to demonstrate your financial prowess. Your letter should highlight this point. It does not hurt to mention a brief story about your family and why you want to move to the area.

Do not, under no circumstances mention anything negative about the house. .
"Our offer is low because your kitchen need major rehabbing. ."
"We have to paint over your horrific purple room before we move in"

Must Haves
You should include a picture of your kids or family portrait. . .include your pet if you have one.
All must be in one page. . .black and white picture and signed by the buyer.

Herboso & Associates
Maryland , DC and Virginia
"The edge you are looking for!"


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Kristi DeFazio 07/29/2010 04:05 AM
  2. Cheryl Ritchie 07/29/2010 04:52 AM
  3. Irina Riley 07/29/2010 05:42 PM
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Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

We have used this successfully many times. As you mentioned, every seller is different but if you find the ones that are "touchy feely" and care about the type of person who buys their home, a letter along with a family photo goes a long way. We haven't considered this for short sale but could certainly give it a try. Thanks for the great post.

Jul 29, 2010 06:44 AM #45
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker (503) 810-7192
BuyersAgentPortland.com | Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% of the Time - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

I've written letters introducing the buyers to the sellers.  Sometimes it helps to tell the sellers that the buyers are interested -- of course they are if they've written the offer.  And the buyers always see the letter, and it's with their permission.

Jul 29, 2010 07:25 AM #46
Halina Kraszewski
RE/MAX Suburban, Mount Prospect, Cook County, IL - Mount Prospect, IL

I use "love letters" with my offers (never tried it on short sales or bank owned properties).

From my experience the letters work. In several instances my offers were chosen even though they were lower than competing offers.

Sellers are human beings too... We just have to give them more credit... specially in this difficult market where many of them are upside down with their mortgages.

Jul 29, 2010 07:39 AM #47
Ted Tyndall
Davidson Realty Inc. - Saint Augustine, FL
FL Homes for Sale-Palencia, World Golf Village,Nocatee,St. Augustine

Fernando, very good advice. Whether it works depends on the seller and I guess how low the offer is.

Jul 29, 2010 09:45 AM #48
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Evening Fernando,  Interesting post and comment thread.  I really like your idea and can't wait to give it a try !   Thanks !

Jul 29, 2010 10:48 AM #50
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Lepic-Kroeger REALTORS - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist

I have always used this letter for both buyers and sellers.  The sellers write a letter to the buyers to demonstrate the things that they love about the house and the neighborhood.  The buyers write a letter to tell the sellers how much they love the home and how they can see themselves raising their family there.  I would say they work more times than they do not.  Especially in a multiple offer situation where your buyer cannot compete with price.  It is worth a shot!

Keep smiling,


Jul 29, 2010 10:54 AM #51
Malik Crichlow
GoodBuy Homes NJ Essex & Union County Real Estate specialist - Maplewood, NJ
Maplewood,SouthOrange,Union Real estate

A well written Letter can go a long way, great post.  I have used them a few times and it really helped the deal, so I am all for whatever it takes to help my clients get the deal done.

Jul 29, 2010 11:35 AM #52
Stephanie Stringer
First Choice Loan Services NMLS#210764 - San Antonio, TX
Mortgage Loan Originator

Fernando,  It seems like your Love Letters are working for the sellers... Ummm.   I just had a thought.  I am a Mortgage Banker, I am thinking of writing the most lovable, mushy, kissable LOVE LETTERS to these investors for my loans,  do you think it will work?  It might not hurt!!

Jul 29, 2010 11:46 AM #53
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

Good advice. I had someone submit a low offer to a seller and they DID outline every single flaw in the property and why it was low. The seller was so angry he didn't even counteroffer.

Jul 29, 2010 01:50 PM #54
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Fernando~  I have never done this over the 13 years I have been in Real Estate, but it may be something I need to consider!

Jul 29, 2010 01:54 PM #55
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Fernando, we have written letters to the Seller when we think we might be in a multiple offer situation. As for writing one when submitting a low offer, we have never done that. Not to say that it might not help with some Sellers, but others would just throw it away - depends on the Seller's temperament.

Jul 29, 2010 05:20 PM #56
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

I've incorporated this technique for nearly 12 years - very effective when representing Buyers!

Jul 29, 2010 05:30 PM #57
Irina Riley
American Dream Colorado - Woodland Park, CO

Fernando, great post. Thank you so much for sharing this terrific idea and allowing to use a picture of your cute dog!!!!! I think it will work, because Buyers will make it personal! Thanks again.

Jul 29, 2010 05:48 PM #58
Kevin Dwyer
Sellstate Next Generation - San Diego, CA

Thanks for sharing Fernando. I just had a short sale close that the buyer had written a "love" letter to the seller and sellers lender. It worked!

Jul 29, 2010 06:37 PM #59
Jason Watton
Realty One Group of Scottsdale, AZ - Scottsdale, AZ
Realtor - Scottsdale Arizona Homes for Sale

This is great!  I've never used this and would not be the type of seller myself that would be affected but I can definitely see situations where it would work.  Thanks for bringing it to our attention and spelling out the detailed recommendations.

Jul 29, 2010 06:50 PM #60
Jason Piedrasanta
Seth Campbell Realty Group - Worcester, MA

I had a listing with multiple offers and because one agent took the time to have his buyers write a love-letter, their offer was accepted even though it wasn't the highest.  My clients wanted them to have the house because they thought the potential buyers would take good care of the place they called home for the past 35 years.

Jul 29, 2010 07:07 PM #61
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

A great idea to make your buyer stand out in the crowd especially in today's competitive market.

Jul 30, 2010 05:11 PM #62
Dan Quinn
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

The photo option should go, but a nice, simple letter personalizes the offer.  I don't think a letter has ever made a difference for my sellers who, for the most part, are bottom line kind of people.

Jul 31, 2010 04:30 AM #63
Janet Zasada, PA
A Delta Realty - Naples, FL

I do have my Buyers give me a letter that they can give to the seller...I never thought of calling it a Love letter but they do help...Personalizing the buyer is a good thing...while I never used the picture part, I will think about that for future "love" letters....

Aug 02, 2010 04:10 AM #64
Carmela Jacobs
Carmela G. Jacobs, Broker - Thousand Oaks, CA
Ventura Co., Los Angeles Co., CA, & Global Realtor

Love letter's to Sellers...it really works!!! I've done it throughout the years (in good & bad times) and the stories, I have are just amazing and too long to write about.   

Oct 11, 2011 05:08 AM #65
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Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group

301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA
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