Don't send a family picture and letter with your offer to the seller

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC SP98364271

LetterThis blog was inspired by Massachusetts real estate agent Christine Smith featured blog What you don't know may hurt you. Many times real estate agents would suggest to their home buyer clients who are very interested or may have fallen in love with a house that they really would love to purchase. Sometimes I hear to even take a family picture and send it with the letter to try and improve their chances of getting their offer accepted by the seller.



I have always thought it was a good idea. But she said something in her blog that got my attention and should get your attention as well she said "Well, if that buyer's offer is chosen and another buyer - perhaps a single person without kids - does not have his/her offer chosen, well then that Seller could be facing a Fair Housing  complaint.  Not only that, any real estate agent who facilitated that letter - by encouraging or even forwarding the letter - could be facing the same complaint, as could their broker.



That fine of course is $10,000. I don't know about you about I try to do my best not to break any rules,regulations and abide the law. You stay out of jail and trouble that way. But another thing I want to mention as to why you shouldn't write a letter and family picture when submitting an offer to the seller is because you don't know their personality trait. I am sure many of us are familiar with the D.I.S.C Personality. 


"D" stands for "Dominance" -  "D" is the most direct and decisive personality trait.  As one of the two "active" traits, it creates strong-willed, daring people who like challenge, action, change, and excitement, and who accept risk, danger, and new ideas.

"i" stands for "Influence" -  "i" is the most optimistic and outgoing personality trait.  As the second of the two "active" traits, it creates people who're touchy-feely, and who like to participate with others, share ideas, entertain, and be people-people.


"S" stands for "Steadiness" -  "S" is the most cooperative and hard-working personality trait.  As one of the two "passive" traits, it creates loyal, dedicated, helpful, and agreeable people who like to work, raise families, and stay on one job and in one geographic location.
Now your offer more than likely would be accepted by someone with this personality trait if you send your offer with a buyer letter and send a family picture with it. But do you or can you really know the personality trait of the sellers who you are submitting your offer to? PROBABLY NOT.



"C" stands for "Conscientiousness" -  "C" is the most cautious and correct personality trait.  As the second of the two "passive" traits, it creates quality-minded, perfectionistic, and concerned people who like planning, checking, inspecting, working with methods and systems, and verifying the accuracy of facts, ideas, and programs.



So if you want to improve your chances of having your offer being accepted by the seller,the best thing Family Pictureto do is to SUBMIT YOUR OFFER BASED ON THE CURRENT REAL ESTATE MARKET. Why? As we all know some houses for sale are overpriced. That's why you should back your offer with recent solds in the subdivision/neighborhood/city and/or state. Now of course it's up to the seller whether they will accept your offer or not. But if they don't accept your initial offer,you can either counter with a better offer or just walk away. But I highly advise you from here on out to NEVER SUBMIT YOUR OFFER WITH A LETTER AND FAMILY PICTURE.



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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I agreed with Christine's post and agree with yours also.  Offers should all be about the price, timeframes, contigencies and should have nothing to do with personal characteristics of the buyers.

Oct 24, 2014 04:52 AM #1
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Lanre Folayan Great advice! Submitting offers based on the market conditions and market values are always the best choice for any offers. Have a Blessed Weekend!

Oct 24, 2014 04:54 AM #2
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

The practice of submitting a personal letter from the prospective buyer was popular a few years ago in my area, but I encounter it less frequently.  I do agree it has the potential to create future issues.  


Oct 24, 2014 04:58 AM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good afternoon Lanre. How very interesting and valid. it never ever would have occurred to me. Thank you.

Oct 24, 2014 06:19 AM #4
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Excellent point, Lanre. And you're so right--in the end it's all about the right offer for market conditions. The rest is "fluff."

Oct 24, 2014 06:25 AM #5
Marco Giancola
Beachfront Realty - Miami Beach, FL
Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida

Hey Lanre-I kinda think keeping the family photos on the mantle is a good idea, safer too!

Oct 24, 2014 06:41 AM #6
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Oh yeah, that's a good one.  I have stopped submitting letters altogether and never sent one with a photo. 

Oct 24, 2014 08:11 AM #7
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

This is great advice.  I see where this could open up a can of worms.  We as realtors have too many issues as it is.......Not doing this one.

Oct 24, 2014 10:04 AM #8
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Lanre,  I used to submit letters with offers.  I don't do it anymore.  It seems that is no longer trending ... for whatever reason.  I've received lots of letters with offers including wedding photos, family photos, pet photos. It can strike an emotional cord with sellers.  I think people would have a very difficult time proving Fair Housing violations just because a buyer introduced their self with a letter and photo. 

Oct 29, 2014 09:26 AM #9
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Interesting thought send a photo of your family hmmm a note as well never thought about that before. 

Oct 30, 2014 08:25 AM #10
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