I know it depends on the area that you live in, but here in Missouri the housing market is really crazy right now. A house can be put on the market and go under contract within 24 hours! Obviously this makes purchasing a house pretty stressful. You have to look at a house and decide right away if you like it enough to put an offer on it.
When we looked at the house that we ended up buying, it was the same day that it had been put on the market. We went over that evening, and ended up being there with another couple and their realtor the whole evening. We stayed over an hour, looking, talking, thinking, and talking with our realtor some more. We could tell the other couple was going to put an offer on the house, but we told our realtor we needed to go home and sleep on it, and pray. We ended up calling him first thing the next morning and said we wanted to put an offer on it. Because of the interest in the house, he suggested we write a cover letter that would be submitted along with our offer, for the owner of the house to read.
That cover letter ended up being a huge part of how we got the house!
My husband wrote the cover letter, and here is what he said:
My family has been looking for a house to buy for several years now and we’re very excited to be putting an offer on this particular house!
(We then put this photo in the letter so they could see our family)
We’ve been living in a rental home with less than 1000 square feet of living space and one tiny bathroom for 4 years now. This might now be so bad, but we’re a young family with 6 children ages 13-2. As you can imagine, we’ve been a little cramped. We have looked and looked for a home with the combination of space inside and outside that our growing family needs. We’ve found a lot of large houses with small cars, or small, poorly kept houses on large properties. Then there’s the issue of the neighborhood the house is in.
Imagine how amazed we were by how quite and peaceful it was as we walked in and around your home! It has more than enough room for our family, and our children immediately fell in love with the yard (they loved the long driveway in the back! Bike riding!). What’s more, when we looked at the house online, we discovered that it’s just adjacent to some very dear friends of ours; in fact the yards nearly touch! Our children quickly discovered this and were running around with their friends. It was a wonderful scene.
There are so many reasons why we would love to be able to purchase your home, but these are a few of the most important ones. In short, my family has patiently endured a cramped living space while I returned to college to finish up my degree. My wife and I have looked high and low for the property that would meet our needs and be a blessing to our growing family. Not only would your home do this, but it would serve as just the sort of ‘thank you’ I was hoping to offer my family in exchange for their patience and sacrifice over the past 4 years. Thank you for considering our offer!
As you can see, the letter contained personal information. We have a large family, we’ve been in a super small space for 4 years, my husband was in college which explained why we were in a rental house….and then it also touched on why we loved the house we wanted to buy.
There ended up being around 5 offers put on this house, but we won the bid and the realtor said it was because of our cover letter! The lady that was selling this house wanted a large family to buy the house and we definitely fit that description! We ended up meeting her and she even mentioned our cover letter and how much she liked it. Obviously our offer had to be comparable with the other offers given, though we have no way of knowing that for sure.
If you have your heart set on purchasing a house, take a little extra time to write up a cover letter to submit with your offer! It might just be the tipping point to guarantee that you win the bid!
Here are five tips to consider when writing your cover letter.
- Make it personal. Introduce your family and give some sort of personal information. Help the home owner visualize your family and how you could fit into their home. Even though they will be selling their home and moving on, many people are concerned with who will next be living in “their house” and if they will take care of it. Give the owner assurance that you are not buying this house just to flip it, you are a real family who wants to move in and love this house.
- Inclue a photo of your family! This is super helpful for the homeowner to visualize what your family looks like. If you have little children, they might just fall in love with home. 🙂
- Tell them what stands out about the actual house. Why do you like it, and why would it be perfect for your family?
- Talk about the location of this house. If you are buying a house it has to be in the right location for your job, church, school, etc. Let the sellers know why you need to buy a house in this exact area.
- Finally, be as respectful and considerate as you can be! You are not demanding to purchase this house, you are letting the seller get to know your family. You can’t demand someone to be friends with you, nor can you demand someone sells their house to you. Write your letter, pray, send it off, and pray some more!
Like I said above, this is just one step in the whole complicated process of buying a house, but it’s a step I’m so glad we didn’t overlook!