Keep These Phrases OUT of Your Offer Letter

Blog posted On May 15, 2019

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When you’re buying a home in a competitive market, some home buyers choose to write a personal letter to accompany their offer to make an emotional connection and stand out to the seller.  Buying a home is a personal experience, especially if the seller has lived there for many years.  A personal letter could be the extra push you need to get your offer accepted; it could also sour the deal.  

Real estate experts agree, if you’re writing a personal letter, keep these phrases out of it:


“I can see our family celebrating Easter/Passover/Other Religious Holiday here.”

Under the Federal Fair Housing Act, it is illegal for a home seller to discriminate based on religion (also race, color, national origin, sex, family status, or disability), disclosing your religion in the offer letter could be difficult to use to support a claim in court.  Real estate professionals recommend leaving religion out altogether in the offer letter.


“We can’t wait to rip down the bathroom wallpaper!”

While you might be dreaming of the day you can cover the seller’s wallpaper or put down wood floors instead of the current discolored carpeting, you don’t want to insult the seller’s taste.  What if the seller has an attachment to a specific feature of the home, like they put up the wallpaper with their now deceased spouse, or their children who have moved out really wanted blue carpets in the bedroom?  Keep your forthcoming changes to yourself and out of the offer letter.


“We would do anything to get this house.”

Don’t give the seller all of the power.  The offer letter is not the time to negotiate.  That’s why you’re working with a Realtor or real estate agent.  No matter how much you want the house, telling the seller you would to “anything” to get it makes you vulnerable.


“We’re renting, so we really need to close soon.”

Forcing the seller into your timeline can also be a disadvantage.  If they know your lease is up or you’re in a rush, they get more negotiating power.  Discuss timelines with your Realtor or real estate agent ahead of time.  Again, they’re the ones negotiating on your behalf.


“My dog is going to love the backyard!”

This sentiment goes both ways.  If the seller is a dog owner, or you know they love dogs, they may be excited about your furry friend occupying their former home.  However, the seller might not like dogs or any pets and the idea of an animal in their former home could be off-putting.  Additionally, people may have biases against certain breeds or have had bad experience.  Unless you know for sure that the seller also owns or loves dogs, leave Rufus out of the offer letter.  (Same goes for feline friends!)


“Although I have contingencies, I’m confident we can make a deal work.”

Don’t make your offer look complicated in the letter.  In fact, don’t highlight anything that could be construed as negative. 


Writing a personal letter to accompany your offer can help you connect with the seller, stand out amongst other buyers, and even be the extra push to get your offer accepted.  However, what you don’t say in that letter is as important as what you do say.  Do you have any doubts about your offer letter?  Ask your Realtor or real estate agent to read it first!  That’s why they’re there. 


Sources: Fox News