Rachel Julian
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Gaining the Advantage in a Seller's Market:Get Personal

It is a great time to be selling your house! It is also a great time to be buying! Interest rates are still low. There are some great loan packages out there. HOWEVER... there is a short supply out there for the increased demand from all the buyers surging the market. According to Atlanta Intown Paper, the metro Atlanta area has 4.4 months of supply. A balanced market has 6 months of supply. This being the case, the greater power rests in the seller's hands. We are seeing multiple offer situations, where buyers are competing against one another for the same house. So what can a buyer do to set themselves apart? I think there is great advantage in submitting a personal letter with your offer. I have seen buyers chosen when they are not the strongest offer because of a personal letter. An agent has to present an entire offer, including your letter.

Why does this letter work? The letters are a way of connecting with the sellers. Usually, a seller sees their house as more than just a financial investment. It is a place that memories have been made. They are attached to the home and want to know the buyers will love the home and care for it the way they have. The letter is a buyer's chance to show they can do that. 

So what goes in the personal letter?

Open the letter by introducing yourself and your family if you have one. Tell them a little about yourself. Recall things you saw in their house when viewing it and connect with them on those things. One of my clients who was selling his house had a motorcycle in the garage. A buyer wrote a letter and made sure to include how much he loves riding his motorcycle and how the location of the home would provide beautiful rides. Does the house have a beautiful garden and you love to garden? Include in the letter that you love gardening. 

Secondly, compliment the house. What are your favorite features? Why do you want it? Tell them what you love about the house and how you can picture your family in it. Examples would include things like "I can see my children playing on the swingset." "I can see us grilling out in the backyard." "I can see us cooking dinner as a family, enjoying the nice open kitchen." "My dog will love running in the yard."

Finally, include a picture of you, your family, and your pet if you have one. This makes your personal letter even more personal. Make sure it is a clear quality picture. Don't submit a fuzzy, computer printed one.