Blocks & Lots

Real Estate offer letter explained

In a competitive market like New York City, a real estate offer letter can be an important tool in having you offer accepted. They need to include some vital information and should be vetted and written in conjunction with your agent, so don’t go rogue and submit these yourself. Here are a few pointers:

What to include in a real estate offer letter?

  • Sale price
  • Terms
  • Timeline
  • Target date for closing

How to make an impression with your offer letter

If there is a bidding war you will need to up the ante with your offer letter. You won’t need to write a novel (keep an offer letter to one page) or show them your wedding and baby photos but including the following could help:

Genuine emotion

A home is personal so without going over the top explain briefly why you want it, why it means more to you than just the price and the investment. You can mention the schools, neighborhood and interior design/layout etc.

In many states the sellers get to meet prospective buyers before offers are made. This is not the case in NYC where buyers and sellers are kept apart at all times, so don’t put anything personal about the sellers that you’ve Googled, or they’ll think you’ve stalked them and will be turned off.

Specific forms of flattery about the home

Mentioning any home improvements or personal touches that the seller has made could be a good move. Homeowners spend a long time considering renovations and mentioning a finished cellar or basement, the lighting, windows or chef’s kitchen and luxury appliances may win bonus points. Most sellers would prefer to sell to people who show they can appreciate the home as more than just an investment.

What to avoid in an offer letter

  • Changes you’d like to make

This is basically criticizing the home so don’t do it.

  • How much theoretically you could spend

This letter is not a negotiation, or a chance to undermine your negotiating powers in the future, so other than the stated offer, keep all talk of money out of it.

  • Your preferred time to close

You’ve stated a closing date in the letter, so don’t deviate from that if possible.