How To Write a Strong Offer Letter
5 Must-Haves in an Offer Letter
You’ll want to have the letter be personal. Make sure to try to pull at the sellers heart strings.
1. Start with a formal greeting
First impressions is where you’ll want to stand out.
2. Share some details about yourself
This is a chance to introduce yourself (and your family, if applicable). Take the opportunity to show the seller that there are real people behind the offer to purchase their home.
In the same idea, be sure to mention if you’re a public servant, like a nurse, schoolteacher or member of the local law enforcement. You should also mention if you’re actively serving in the military or a veteran.
3. Explain why you love the home
Next, you should share what you adore about the home and why it’s perfect for you and your family. For example, you could bring up the large kitchen, comfy reading nook, or beautiful landscaping around the back patio. If you can call something out specifically that’ll help the most.
Samar says to also include details about how you’ll make the home your own — like your future dinner party plans or family movie nights. There’s one exception, however. DO NOT mention your plans to majorly remodel or tear down parts of the property (we’ll cover more on that later).
4. Include a few financial details
The offer letter is an opportunity to show the seller that you’ve talked with a lender and they have assured you that you’re loan will go through with no issues and keep the closing on schedule. You may want to emphasize your mortgage preapproval letter — which confirms that you likely qualify for a mortgage.
You could also highlight your earnest money deposit, as it shows your level of commitment to buying their home. Earnest money is the amount you’re putting down upfront, and it’s later applied to your closing costs and down payment. Although the average earnest money deposit is 1% to 2% of the purchase price, according to Realtor.com, it may be higher in popular housing markets.
This part of the real estate offer letter might be trickier than others, so don’t be afraid to seek guidance from your real estate agent. They may have helped other buyers write effective letters, and it’s possible they know the best way to frame your finances.
5. Close with a heartfelt thank-you
The closing of your real estate offer letter is your chance to make a lasting impression. You should thank the seller for their time and consideration and reemphasize your interest in buying the home.
“End with ‘I would be so pleased if you select my offer’ or something similar to convey your sincerity,” Samar recommends.
What To Avoid in a Home Offer Letter
While there are certain must-haves when you’re writing an offer letter for a house, there are also some things you should avoid:
- Negativity: As a general rule, make sure to stay positive, particularly when you’re describing the home or the seller’s design choices. You may hate the carpeting or dated bathroom, but you shouldn’t mention it (or any negative aspect of the home) in the letter.
- Proposed changes: As we mentioned before, avoid sharing your remodeling plans. There’s nothing wrong with planning to make the home your own, but some folks may be offended if you tell them that the whole place needs updating. “Older generations take pride in their homes and think they are perfect as they are,” Samar says.
- Politics: You may love seeing your favorite campaign sign in the next-door neighbor’s window, but Samar says it’s better to skip politics in your offer letter. It could be a risky move, even if the seller shares your political views.
- Desperation: While it’s smart to include your mortgage preapproval, down payment, and earnest money deposit, you don’t want to leave the impression that you’re willing to pay even more to get the home. The seller may try to counter your offer with a higher price.
Again, be sure to work with your real estate agent when you’re composing your real estate offer letter. They should be able to help you avoid red flags and navigate any tricky financial details.
Real Estate Offer Letter Template
If you’re still struggling to figure out how to write an offer letter for a house, here’s a template for your reference. It includes the five must-haves from above — along with some personal touches.
Dear [seller’s name],
Thank you for the opportunity to make an offer on your beautiful home.
My partner [partner’s name] and I fell in love with your cozy front porch, spacious eat-in kitchen, and stunning rose garden surrounding the back patio. We love gardening and cooking and enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors.
We also love the neighborhood and how close it is to our 4-year-old daughter [daughter’s name]’s elementary school. Moreover, your home is close to [public middle school’s name], where I teach eighth grade math and coach youth soccer on the weekends.
My partner and I already have a mortgage preapproval letter for $300,000 and are able to make a 20% down payment. Additionally, we are pleased to offer a 5% earnest money deposit of $15,000. If you accept our offer, we will do everything possible to expedite the closing process. We are also willing to be flexible with the closing date if necessary.
We would love the chance to preserve the character of your gorgeous home and garden and build a life in your amazing neighborhood. Thank you again for your time and consideration!
[Your name and partner’s name]
[Your phone number]
[Your email address]
You don’t have to follow the template verbatim, but make sure to include these key elements to cover your bases:
- Your name
- You co-buyer’s name, if applicable
- Your address
- The seller’s name
- The seller’s address
- Your mortgage preapproval letter
- Your down payment
- Your earnest money deposit
- Your ability to close earlier
The Bottom Line
A strong real estate offer letter can provide more than just a leg up against the competition — it may also seal the deal and improve the transaction from start to finish. Samar notes the entire homebuying process is easier when buyers introduce themselves with an offer letter.
Even when you aren’t competing with other potential buyers, she says sellers always appreciate receiving a home offer letter. The best way to make a good impression is to be genuine. “Write from your heart and be sincere,” she recommends.