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6 FAQs About Writing a Real Estate Offer Letter

A well-written real estate offer letter can help you stand out from the competition in a bidding war. If you’re trying to win your dream house, find out more about this buying tool.
A well-written real estate offer letter can help you stand out from the competition in a bidding war. If you’re trying to win your dream house, find out more about this buying tool.

Your real estate offer letter is a chance to shine, to grab the seller’s attention, and to convince them to sell you their home. It can help you beat out other buyers in bidding wars. If you’re unsure where to begin, connecting with a top real estate agent is a great first step. They’ve written thousands of offer letters and will craft you a winning offer.

To give you an idea of what goes into a fantastic real estate offer letter, here are a few pointers.

What is a real estate offer letter?

Commonly used in a seller’s market or if you end up in a bidding war, a real estate offer letter expands on a standard offer to personally appeal to the seller. A standard home buyer offer includes an offer price, a proposed closing timeline, and other terms. But adding a personal letter goes beyond this.

It’s designed to convince the seller to pick your offer instead of another buyer’s. Your real estate agent might suggest that you write one to stand out from the competition if they know that the seller has received multiple offers.

How do you write a real estate offer letter?

If you’re writing a letter to convince the home’s owner to sell to you instead of another buyer, you want to connect with them. Keep your offer letter short but personal.

Use the owner’s name and try to find something in common with them. Maybe you both love dogs, and the fenced-in backyard would be perfect for your German Shephard. Talk about what you love about their home, and why you want to live there.

Keep the letter short but personal, and close it politely. You can work with your realtor to draft a message designed to appeal to the home’s owners.

What contingencies should be put in an offer letter?

Contingencies are conditions that must be met before the sale can close that are written into your offer. They give a home buyer an exit strategy if something should go wrong during the closing process. Remember, however, contingencies go in the proposed offer contract, not the personal letter you write the seller.

The most common contingency relates to a home inspection. If the inspector finds serious problems with the house which could cost significant sums of money to repair, this contingency allows buyers to back out of the deal.

Another contingency relates to an inability to secure financing. If your mortgage lender doesn’t approve a loan, you can cancel the contract. This is why many home sellers prefer to work with buyers who’ve been pre-approved.

Note that if you’re in a bidding war, you can win the house by choosing to forego contingencies such as a home inspection. It’s a risky strategy, so if you’re going to try it, make sure you’ll have enough cash on-hand after the closing to cover any repairs.

How do I convince a seller to accept my offer?

Your real estate agent will handle the negotiations and talk with the seller’s agent, and you won’t speak with the seller directly. Instead, your offer letter will help convince a seller to accept your bid.

To make an offer and attached letter convincing, make a clean offer with as few contingencies as possible. This reassures the seller that there won’t be a lot of hassle when selling to you. Don’t ask for any personal property, and offer above the asking price.

The goal is to communicate that you’ll be an easy buyer to work with and they can move to a fast close. Putting down a higher earnest money deposit also tells them that you’re serious and have the cash to close on their home.

Is making an offer on a house legally binding?

The offer itself isn’t legally binding until the seller accepts and signs. At that point, it becomes a firm contract. Work with your realtor on each clause so that you know what it means, and how it obliges you to perform.

They could choose, instead, to engage in negotiations until you’ve reached a mutually satisfactory agreement. Once that agreement has been signed by both parties, it’s a contract that has legal weight.

Can a seller back out of an accepted offer?

A seller can’t back out of an accepted offer unless the buyer fails to meet its agreements. There will be language in an accepted offer, related to contingencies, that gives either party a point at which they can cancel the deal.

When buying in a competitive market, you’ll need an experienced agent to help you navigate situations with multiple offers on the same house. Clever Partner Agents join our network from top-rated agencies and have years of experience they can draw upon when helping you win your dream home. Reach out to be connected with a Clever Partner Agent today.

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Reuven Shechter

Reuven Shechter is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top real estate agents to help save on commission. He spreads the word about Clever, disseminating studies to journalists and developing relationships with media outlets. Reuven is passionate about investing in real estate and creating lasting success for families. His writing has been featured in Max Real Estate Exposure, Leverage Marketing, and more.

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