The Market

Wanna win a bidding war? Brush up on your letter writing

By Leah Hochbaum Rosner  | June 24, 2015 - 3:59PM

Can you remember the last time you wrote a good, old-fashioned letter? Probably not. But if you find yourself involved in a bidding war, you might just have to try it. It may seem crazy, but sellers have actually been known to accept lower offers because they identify with one bidder over another after receiving one of these “love letters,” which detail why a prospective buyer is oh-so-besotted with their home. But what should you say in such a letter? And what should you leave out?

What to include:

  • Who you are: You’re a real person—not just a collection of tax returns and other financial paperwork, so let the sellers get to know you. If you’re a recent Harvard grad, make sure to mention that you finished at the top of your class and hint at the bright future before you. No need to mention college, however, if you’re a middle-aged family man who hasn’t seen the inside of a dorm room in decades.
  • Why the apartment is perfect for you: Be specific as to why you connect with the place—it has the perfect view or you simply adore what they’ve done with the dining room. And if you happen to know other people in the building, make sure to mention the appeal of living near friends.
  • How serious you are: Show that you’re knowledgeable about the market, and that you’re not simply submitting an offer for the first place you’ve seen. Also, be sure to convey that you have a stellar board package and are prepared to do what it takes to pass the co-op board and that you’re eager to work quickly.

What to omit:

  • Presumptive or aggressive language: Nobody likes an arrogant braggart. Stay away from aggressive statements like “When you accept my offer.” Instead, go with the more humble, “As I hope you can see, I believe I’m a great candidate.”
  • Gushing: Sometimes, coming on strong reads as insincere, ultimately turning the seller off. Keep yourself in check.
  • Wishy-washiness: A love letter is not the place to air any doubts or ask any lingering questions about the building. Don’t give the seller a reason to think the deal won’t go through.

For more, read “How to Write a Buyer’s ‘Love Letter’ (Plus 3 Real-Life Examples That Won Bidding Wars).” 

In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.


Bidding War Strategy #268: The Broker’s Love Letter

Why You Shouldn’t Always Pick the Highest Bidder in a Sale

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