Neighborhood Intel

Instead of "love letters," Park Slope buyers hit neighbors with postcards

By Virginia K. Smith  | November 11, 2014 - 12:59PM

Just this morning we wrote about the virtues (and pitfalls) of apartment "love letters"—the missives that prospective buyers send to sellers to convince them they're the perfect fit to take over the apartment (and should therefore win out in a bidding war). Apparently, some apartment hunters are pulling out this tactic long before bidding even starts: yesterday, a blogger for F'd In Park Slope posted images of a postcard she'd received from two neighbors, Mark and Jessie, beseeching area homeowners to consider selling to a nice, young couple instead of an anonymous LLC.

"We are a recently-married couple who have been living in Brooklyn for more than 6 years," the note reads. "We have been looking to buy a 1 or 2 family house in this area for a while now, but big companies and investors are pricing us out each and every time. If you or anyone you know is looking to sell their home to two hard-working young professionals who dream of starting a family in Brooklyn, please give us a call." 

The blog—and plenty of commenters—tore into Mark and Jessie for the "entitlement" of the request (and their use of much maligned font Comic Sans), but really, this doesn't seem so crazy to us. Brokers put out similar feelers all the time. And even if you take issue with the particulars of the presentation here, if you're hoping to find an off-market property without a broker, canvassing the neighbors (and otherwise getting creative) is par for the course in today's market. All publicity is good publicity, the squeaky wheel, etc. etc.

In any case, their plea may have actually worked. Mark followed up in the comments of the post: 

"After a year of standing on endless lines at open houses, the postcard was a genuine attempt to try something a little different. Was our attempt a little cheesy, yeah, but I don't think it was entitled. We're not asking anyone to give us their home for any less than they think it's worth, just to consider calling us directly. Oh -- one did call, and we are currently casually discussing an off-market two-family frame house."

Plus, another commenter followed up noting that their two-bedroom on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights might be available off-market, and HomeCanvasr jumped into the fray offering its services, as well. These two crazy kids just might make it in this market after all.


How to write a buyer's "love letter" (plus 3 real-life examples that won bidding wars)

5 things every buyer should know about Brooklyn brownstones (sponsored)

F'd in Park Slope blogger Erica Reitman on officially leaving Brooklyn and selling her place from afar

Buy and Sell Like a NYC Insider: Your guide to elusive 'whisper' listings (part 3)

Buying a Brooklyn brownstone? New website unearths "secret" listings

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.