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There are several things a buyer can do in a competitive market to stand out from the crowd and sweeten the deal when putting in an offer on a home. What has been gaining popularity is a personal cover letter to the seller accompanying your offer, AKA a love letter. 

A love letter is no regular valentine, but an earnest and thoughtful way of making a memorable impression on a seller – and ultimately a way to increase the chances of your offer being chosen. Adding an emotional edge could be just the trick to appealing to a seller.

Here are a few guidelines to stick to so that your love letter is well received and pays out big.

Keep it short and sweet

Sellers aren’t interested in reading a novel, so think about the most important things you want to say and get to the point. There’s no need to tell your entire life story, just a bit about what you love so much about the house and why you can’t live without it. The more streamlined you make your message, the more memorable it will be. We suggest keeping your letter between 200 and 300 words.

Bring on the compliments

It’s important to keep your letter positive and the best way to do that is with flattery. Flatter your seller and let them know how much you love their taste in landscaping, flooring choice or color patterns. Praise their family photos you saw hanging on the wall or their creative use of loft space as a play area. It’s ok to brown nose as long as its being sincere.

Share a bit about yourself

Share a bit about yourself and your journey through home buying. Whether you’re buying to start a family, become a first time homebuyer or looking to grow into the next phase of your life – share it. Personal stories allow a seller to empathize with you and create a bond.

Know your audience

The only way to build a connection with the seller is by understanding who they are and where they’re coming from. Do they have kids? Then appeal to them by talking about your own and how much they’re going to love the house because of the pool and the extra room to their toys.

Find the commonalities between yourself and your seller and emphasize those. It could be that you’re both veterans, both attended the same school or even something small like you’re both fans of the same sports team. If the seller is an investor or builder however, don’t bother. Those sellers are all business, focused on either money or closing fast – and nothing else.

It’s important to remember that a love letter isn’t a guarantee that you’ll win in a bidding war. However, it’s definitely worth a try if you’re facing stiff competition. As they say, it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

For more advice on how to navigate your home purchase and stand out from the competition, work with a First Team agent. Search for an agent near you on our site or reach out and we’ll connect you with a top agent in your neighborhood.