Tips on Writing Your Offer So a Seller Listens

There are all types of sellers, all types of buyers and all types of properties. Each scenario is going to be different. But if you are a buyer who has found a nice home you really like, and it is listed by a seller who takes some pride in their property, here are a few things to think about and take into consideration if you want the seller to take you and your offer seriously.

  • It all starts with the first showing of the property. If you want to make a good impression on a seller, show up on time, leave the home the way you found it, and follow any specific showing instructions.
  • If the seller is present, take your lead from the seller. If they are staying in the background, don’t bother them. If they seem like they want to show you their property, allow them to do so. Try not to ask any personal or financial questions and keep the comments positive and brief.
  • Let your agent speak to the seller’s agent to try and determine any special circumstance or motivation of the seller. See if the seller’s agent will disclose to your agent any deal-breakers for the seller in terms of length of escrow, etc. Perhaps you can make them very happy with special terms if they will budge more on price.  How, other than price, can you make things easier on the seller? Think: give and take.

The last thing you want to do to a seller who has a lovely home is insult them or get them upset with you or any offer you write.

  • Sellers are just like you, and need to make a move, and the stress is no fun.  If you can’t meet their price, or it is obvious their price is too high, submit your best or almost best offer in terms of price in hopes of starting a back and forth conversation with them.
  • The offer itself and the manner it is presented should also reflect respect and professionalism to the seller. It should be complete and neat. The buyer’s agent should communicate honestly and courteously with the seller’s agent. The seller doesn’t want to open escrow with someone who may seem “flaky.”
  • If the offer price is low compared to list price, the buyer and their agent should respectfully submit recent sales to validate the price offered.
  • It may help to write a very short letter of introduction to the seller. Discuss this with your agent who may have insight into whether or not it may be a good idea in your particular instance.
  • Be prepared to wait for the seller to get back to you, especially if the price offered may appear low to the seller.  Sometimes sellers take things personally; the last thing you want to do is to get a seller upset so that they just don’t want to work with you or even respond to your offer.

Bottom line is you want to put your best face forward on any offer you present and with any initial dealings with the seller; especially if it is a seller’s market. Often, your initial offer will stick with the seller; they will form an opinion of you as a buyer and may not budge from it even if you sweeten the offer later. First impressions matter! Show them you are serious, you are motivated, willing to work with them and be flexible where you can.

Best of luck!