The Advantage of a Personal Note to Accompany Your Offer
Just a few days ago, I was helping buyers who had found their dream home. Unfortunately, the couple we had been running into at every listing we saw that day, thought the same thing. My buyers were going into a competitive situation with their offer and they heeded every bit of advice I gave them. Go in with the highest and best offer. Don't ask for anything you don't absolutely need. Show you're serious with a good sized earnest money deposit. And finally, write a personal note to the sellers.
The note may very well have sealed the deal. After getting their offer accepted, my buyers wanted to head back to the home and show their parents. While there, the sellers thanked them for the note and out came something they had in common, that the sellers had discovered upon reading the note. They were both adoptive parents.
It never hurts to put a bit of emotion into the offer with a personal note. It isn't going to replace great contract terms, but if all things are relatively equal, it may very well put your offer over the edge if you find yourself competing for the home.