Buying a Home in a Seller's Market: Will a "Dear John" Letter Help?

Real Estate Agent with Bucci Realty, Inc. BK3064647

Anyone who has researched home prices and the real estate market recently is aware of the tight inventory.   Current inventory in many Florida markets is about 90 days.  In the Brveard COunty, Florida market the median days n the marketis about 30 days.

Median days on the market means half the homes that list for sale are gone within 30 days - very often just days!

It also means that quite often there are multiple offers.  What makes the difference when sellers have multiple offers from which to choose?  

So what should a buyer do when presented with a multiple offer situation?  

Seriously consider offer price.   No, it is not always the highest price but the price must be reasonable, realistic and reflect a buyer's level of real interest.

What is a realistic offer?

A realistic offer has many components including reasonable price, minimal contingencies, an appropriate time line and the appropriate documentation.

What are the necessary contingencies?  

Every situation is different but my opinion is every offer should include these three contingencies: inspection, financing and appraisal.

The first one, property inspection, is what I like to call a get out of jail free card.  There is no pass or fail with inspections.  If a buyer does not like the results, cancellation is easy as long as time frame and procedure is followed.  Remember, with real estate contracts time is of the essence.

The financing contingency is common sense - if no loan approval, no purchase.

While the appraisal is usually part of the loan process in the case of a cash buyer it is always prudent to have an appraisal performed.  What buyer wants to pay more for the property than it is worth in the opinion of an independent appraiser?

What is meant by the appropriate documentation?

Besides the usual contract and addenda for the offer there are additional supporting documents such as the mortgage pre-approval or proof of fnds documentation.  I

Lastly, in the case of multiple offers it could include something as simple as a letter to the seller.  
Will a "Dear Seller" letter seal the deal?   While there is no guarantee you never know. Sometimes an honest, open letter to a seller may be more valuable than a few more thousand in the price.  You never know!
I have had clients use this on occasion and it has worked.   Just this month I had a seller's agent tell me (after the closing) the reason my buyer was chosen was the letter.

The key to buying a home in a competitve makrket such as  Florida is having a local, knowledgeable, experienced real estate agent in your corner. 
Your real estate agent is your advocate who knows whta it will take to be comeptitve and win!

Considering buying a home in Viera, Florida Call or text me at 321-693-3850 for assistance.  Just have questions about the area?  I will help!


Posted by

Gary L. Waters, is a Florida licensed real estate broker associate with Bucci Realty, Inc. in Melbourne, Florida.  

 Call or text me directly at 321-693-3850.




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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I just had a listing receive 9 offers on day 2 and the winner was not the highest price, but sellers chose it bc of the personal family letter and connection with that

May 27, 2017 07:34 AM #1
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I tell my sellers not to be swayed by those letters. To read between the lines. Don't be a sucker.

Half the time those guys who are so madly in love with the house freak out after the home inspection and cancel. I don't trust any of those buyers, ha, ha, ha. I know better.

May 27, 2017 07:57 AM #2
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Part of every transaction is emotion our minds, letters never hurt !

May 27, 2017 08:16 AM #3
Pat Champion
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs

Unfortunately, this is the market in most areas. A letter is one more way to get to the emotions of a Seller. I have tried it and it depends upon the Seller sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Thanks for sharing I hope you have a Happy Memorial Day weekend.

May 27, 2017 08:53 AM #4
Maggie Dokic | Miami, FL | 305.81.HOUSE (46873)
eXp Realty LLC - Miami, FL
GREEN, CDPE, SFR, Pinecrest | Palmetto Bay |

Great information for your Brevard home buyers Gary. And you're absolutely right, along with all the other variables, a well written letter certainly can not hurt and it could help!

May 27, 2017 12:05 PM #5
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Gary- What your post shows me is that buyers, as well as sellers, need to hire the best agent in the area, and in Brevard County, it would be you. 

May 27, 2017 05:17 PM #6
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Good morning Gary.  For some sellers, a well-written letter from the buyers will do wonders.

Jun 04, 2017 04:44 AM #7
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Hi, Gary.  I can honestly say that I have never used this strategy.  I see from the comments here, and on similar blog posts, that opinions of real estate agents regarding these letters are varied.  But if it works, then it works!  

Jun 04, 2017 06:17 PM #8
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Sometimes they do work, as you've seen too, Gary!  When I'm representing the buyer, if they want to write one, I attach it to the Offer document (one doc). 

Conversely, if I'm the listing agent and receive an Offer with one attached, I remove it before submitting the Offer. It has nothing to do with the Offer and I don't want my sellers being influenced emotionally!  

Like Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents, many of them are just blowing smoke in order to 'win' in a bidding war...and then they bag on the deal a week later!

Jun 05, 2017 06:57 AM #9
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Great subject Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC , i like to go over this with my sellers before we get offers. As well i go over it with my buyers, to help them make a better offer

Jun 11, 2017 11:31 AM #10
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Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty

Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County
Whatever your need, let me help you!
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