"Dear Seller" letter - what to say?

(43 Posts)
sianihedgehog Thu 07-May-15 12:52:47

Hi all, my partner and I are still continuing our desperate quest to buy a house in a wildly overheated market, and are now including cover letters with our offers. We've seen a house that we absolutely love and will be making an offer, but I thought I'd ask for some advice on what to include in our cover letter. I've had a good look online, but everything I can find is awfully American.

What could I put in my letter that might make you, as a seller, choose my offer?

PurpleWithRed Thu 07-May-15 12:54:38

That you're in a good position to move forwards in my timeframe. That you sound as if you know roughly what you're doing.

sianihedgehog Thu 07-May-15 12:58:51

Right, I'm saying that we are have a mortgage agreement in principle and we are currently renting on a rolling monthly contract so we are able to move very quickly, but could also allow the seller more time if they need it, sound good?

Quitelikely Thu 07-May-15 13:01:07

Your letter wouldn't swing it for me I'm afraid.

When you offer the agent always asks your position regarding your funds and whether you have a house to sell yourself.

The two factors are always: how much you're offering and when you can complete.

Your letter might indicate desperation and I might be inclined to hold out on you a little longer in case you increased your offer.

Well you would if you like my house enough to write me a letter, right?

I mean what I say kindly. smile

That you have a "good aura" and will leave lasting positive vibes and "impressions" in the house for years to come. grin

Quitelikely Thu 07-May-15 13:02:24

Oh I thought you were going to complete a mail shot to lots of houses you liked! blush

Why isn't the agent not giving this info to the sellers

SunnySomer Thu 07-May-15 13:02:46

That does sound good. No chain is a massive plus.
Also a very straightforward offer is a good idea. We were totally put off one couple who said "we'll give you £x if you accept our offer by 5pm today and £x-22k if you only accept tomorrow". Just made us think they would be seriously awkward throughout the process.

iK8 Thu 07-May-15 13:04:45

Bulletin point why you are a great choice and include copies of relevant documents:

Mortgage decision in principle
Savings statement
Time scale with quickest and longest dates

You could also include details about why you want the house. Eg family home, you have two children X and Y and you would like to bring them up in the house. Nothing too schmaltzy but clear enough to show you're not a developer.

sianihedgehog Thu 07-May-15 13:19:38

Okay, so far I'm writing a little bit about us (youngish couple expecting our first baby, looking for a long term family home) and trying to compliment the things that made us love the house - I'm hoping that the seller might prefer the house not go to a developer who will slot 6 students into it, or to someone who will immediately gut it.

I am sure that there will be other offers which are cash from developers, or have larger deposits, and possibly are slightly higher - the market here is MENTAL. I'm hoping that I can find ways to make it clear that we offer a good balance of a really easy sale with a good price. And maybe that the seller will want to sell to us because they want to see the house in good hands...

Woozlebear Thu 07-May-15 13:52:36

We've done this twice and won the house both times. We were told it was a major factor. We've also received this once.

I think you have the right idea. We've also talked about what we love about the house and why we love the area.

MadameJulienBaptiste Thu 07-May-15 14:19:33

Depends entirely on the seller. I would have gone hmm and confused then ignored it and gone with the highest offer.
If people keep coming with higher offers than you, then surely a higher offer would do more than a letter?

sianihedgehog Thu 07-May-15 14:27:56

Well, we know that the seller has lived in the house since childhood and raised their own children there, and that they describe retiring to a nearby town as "bittersweet". We're trying to offer the best offer, but sadly we are not independently wealthy.

I'm confident that our offer is not the lowest, and that it accurately reflects recent sold and asking prices in the area. But there are always cash buyers here. If we were unlimited in what we could offer I am sure it'd go a lot easier!

VivaLeBeaver Thu 07-May-15 14:30:03

If I had two offers that were similar and I had a letter from one saying that they were serious and weren't going to mess me about I might go with that one.

Though the danger is the vendor thinks you must be head over heels in love with it and try to get more money out of you due to that.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 07-May-15 14:31:05

And yes when I sold my last house Id rather it had gone to a family rather than a BTL landlord. Though ultimately that's who bought it.

momtothree Thu 07-May-15 14:34:22

Maybe move when agreeable to seller rather than quikly as they may have issues in moving or feel pushed.

DrElizabethPlimpton Thu 07-May-15 14:35:06

I have bought many houses over the years and never done this. The EA should be presenting your offer with all its pros and cons. It is a business deal for the vendor. They want the best price to fund their future. I would find it very strange to receive a letter from a potential purchaser.

MadameJulienBaptiste Thu 07-May-15 14:37:48

Ah given that background she may well be receptive to such a letter.
In my case we were selling to get away from our awful neighbour so it was a case of, grab the cash and run.
however bear in mind the seller might not actually be the decision maker. My own parents have just put the 45 yr family home on the market to go into a lovely council sheltered fLat. In our case as it's so long since they did anything like this, and they are too old for stress, it's their adult children guiding them through it and dealing with EA. Whatever offer we go with will be the best for mum and dads financial needs in their old age, we can't sell them short by being sentimental. BUt yes we would take a chain free offer over a slightly higher one as speed is important Due to them already paying rent on the flat out of their daughters wages pensions.
good luck.

mandy214 Thu 07-May-15 15:00:47

We did this when we went to best and final offers (and got the house). The one thing you don’t mention is solicitors. I think this is the point that swung it for us - saying my husband’s firm would do our conveyancing and therefore make sure there were no delays. So I would cover off :

1.That you are in rented, only need to give a month’s notice, can work within seller’s timescales (whatever they are);
2.That you have your mortgage in principle, your deposit in easily accessible account etc etc.
3.That you have notified X solicitors of your intended instruction (and set out if you have a link to the solicitor you’ll be using)
4.That you’re a young couple expecting a baby, want to make it your long term family house.

sianihedgehog Thu 07-May-15 15:03:05

Ooh, good point in the solicitor. We will name the solicitor we're using as well.

beansagain Fri 08-May-15 08:11:24

Poor you, that sounds like a nightmare. You sound like a lovely buyer and I think that's half the battle for sellers. Even if the sellers don't recognise that, the agents will so hopefully it will all come good for you. I think the fact that you're expecting a baby is very persuasive as it means you have a deadline so are not going to mess around. Good luck and keep us posted.

DicteSvendsen Fri 08-May-15 08:17:54

do not say you're a young couple with a baby.

I'd feel slightly irritated by that! the entitlement, that by doing the conventional thing, getting hitched and procreating you were in need of a solid home. that the vendor should be glad there will be a family in their house?? I don't get that angle. A couple is a team and doesn't need a favour in the same way that a single person does, or a single parent with a family.

Maybe if you like some of the features, assure the seller they'd be staying.
Good idea to say you have a mortgage ready, and name your solicitor.

mysteryfairy Fri 08-May-15 12:07:38

When my sister sold her flat and it went to best and final offers she did pick an offer from people she liked over the actual best offer. However there was only a couple of hundred in it - doubt she would have been sentimental for 1000s.

But from reading this it looks like for everyone who would be sympathetic to a personal approach there is someone else who would be alienated. I would keep it factual to how you are in a good position - ready to move quickly and equally maybe willing to wait if they need a bit of time.

FlappertyFlippers Fri 08-May-15 12:21:56

When I have bought a property I haven't included a letter. What I have done is to always try and speak to the estate agent in person and emphasise why we are the best candidates for them to put forward as their first choice. So that involved

1. Giving a good price. It's all about the money.
2. Emphasising that we are in a fantastic position for the buyer (able to move very quickly but equally able to wait it out, so you can work within the sellers timeframe)
3. Saying our finances are in order and offering to pop in with a bank statement showing you have deposit saved, etc. This proves you are serious.
4. Returning phone calls/ emails quickly and politely. This shows you are easy to work with.
5. Offering to use the solicitors the estate agents recommend (estate agents get a commission from them so will be more likely to view your offer in a positive light - it means more money for them)

sianihedgehog Sat 09-May-15 09:49:42

Just making your offer the highest with the largest deposit is great, if you can definitely do that. We're not wealthy, and the market here is insane, so we don't have the ability to be sure we can do that.

We can sell ourselves on being straightforward and simple to deal with, well prepared, not developers or buy to let landlords, and on any emotional connection the seller has to their home, so that is going to have to do!!

Good tip on telling estate agents that we'll use their solicitors, thank you. I had picked up that they like if you will see their mortgage advisor, but I hadn't thought about the solicitor.

ChishandFips33 Sat 09-May-15 10:04:51

Agree some will favour, some will ignore - think it's about being able to identify with the vendor.

Our vendor chose us because of the personal approach - there was a personal history to the house for her and she liked that we weren't going to rip things out and she liked us as people. She was also swayed because we were in a position to move at her pace and that she didn't have to continue with viewings and people ripping her home to bits via their feedback.
Go with your gut

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