How To Write An Offer Letter For A House

6 Min Read
Updated July 14, 2023
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Written By Ashley Kilroy

House hunting can be discouraging after having your fourth or fifth offer rejected. The reality of a seller’s market means competition is hot. Writing a detailed message to the seller might help increase your visibility among buyers.

Writing an offer letter isn’t a necessary step in buying a house, and it doesn’t guarantee the seller will like your offer best. However, it might separate you from the pack. If working on a letter sounds intimidating, don’t worry – this guide will walk you through how to write an offer letter for a house.

Tips For Writing An Offer Letter For a House

Writing an offer letter means composing a concise, compelling message persuading the seller to choose you. Here’s how to create the best letter for your dream home.

1. Confirm You Can Submit A Letter

Not every seller welcomes or accepts letters, so the first step is double-checking that a letter is a good idea. Ask your real estate agent to communicate with the seller’s agent about their offer letter preferences. Sending a letter without checking could work against you, as an unwanted note could come across as inconsiderate.

2. Address The Seller(s) By Name And Introduce Yourself

Once you’ve confirmed that an offer letter is acceptable, you can begin writing it. Start with a warm greeting addressing the seller by name, if you know it. You’ll also want to introduce yourself without revealing personal details. Doing so strikes a personal tone and helps the seller remember that the home sale is more than a transaction: It’s about their house becoming your new home.

3. Highlight What You Like Best About The House

Next is the bulk of the letter, where you focus on what drew you to the house. Discuss the features that stood out and how it matches your desires for a home. For instance, you might mention how a big backyard is what you were looking for or how you love the sage wall color in the bathroom. Your intention here should be to strike a chord with the seller about how you’ll enjoy the home and promise to continue caring for it.

4. Keep It Short

Droning on and on won’t convince the seller to choose you. Instead, make your point and conclude the letter with your well wishes. This strategy will show you value the seller’s time and can deliver the message without being overblown or obnoxious.

Also, beware of oversharing. Make sure the letter doesn’t provide information about things like your race or sexual orientation. It isn’t lawful for sellers to consider these characteristics when selling their home. Instead, stick to basic, positive information or your intention to put down your roots in the community.

5. Avoid Talking About Planned Changes To The House

Although it’s natural to want to make changes to the house, it’s best to keep those to yourself. While your planned changes may be completely valid and advantageous for the home value, they might also touch a nerve or trod on a part of the home that the seller loves. For instance, the seller could see installing a swimming pool as destroying a lawn they tended to for decades. Emotional attachments to specific parts of the home can mean an improvement or renovation is unwelcome from the seller’s point of view. Therefore, abstain from mentioning your remodeling plans during negotiations, as they’ll likely work against you.

6. Don’t Talk About Financials

By the time the seller reads your offer letter, they know the price you’re offering. Mentioning it in the letter is redundant and can ruin your warm, personal tone. Usually, it’s best to avoid talking about financials. However, it’s okay to mention how you’ll pay for the home – whether in cash or with a mortgage. It can be helpful to include your preapproval letter, too.

7. End With A Thank You

Finish by thanking the seller for looking at your offer and allowing you to see their home. Expressing gratitude ends the letter on a high note and can help the seller feel good about reading it.

8. Proofread Your Letter

Proofreading the letter is the essential last step in the process. It can feel monotonous, but it’s better than delivering a letter with missing commas or an incorrect spelling of the seller’s name. One strategy is to read the letter aloud; this will help you catch mistakes you would otherwise miss by reading it silently.

Remember, you don’t need to cover every single detail of the house that you appreciate or elaborate on your background. Instead, communicate in a positive way and modify it as you see fit. For instance, it might make more sense to thank the seller at the beginning of the letter if you met them in person. Overall, the order of the letter’s elements should help it flow naturally and feel authentic.

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Why Write An Offer Letter For A House?

You might wonder why writing an offer letter is worth the bother. After all, house hunting is already time-consuming, and it might seem like the seller is mainly concerned with the highest and best offer. However, in a seller’s market, buyers look for an edge to outpace the competition. An offer letter isn’t a requirement, but it can help you stand out from other offers. Sellers have to wade through numbers, and a letter can be refreshing. It can even help break a stalemate between two comparable offers.

That said, the offer letter doesn’t contain the vital details of the offer. Your price, contingencies, move-in date and concessions will determine whether the seller considers your offer at all. However, if your offer gets your foot in the door, the offer letter can help it stand out a little more.

The Bottom Line

Writing an offer letter is a minor part of the home buying process and is not required. However, the letter’s personal nature and conversational tone may be able to help in some cases. In a seller’s market, you can distinguish yourself through an excellent offer letter emphasizing what you love about the home.

You’re now prepared to write a persuasive offer letter once you reach that step. If you’re just beginning your home buying journey, you can start by getting approved for a mortgage.