Shopping for your first home can be as exciting as it is stressful. And when you find the one you want, you may want to do whatever you can to get your dream house. These efforts might include writing a letter to the current owners.
These so-called love letters can be persuasive; they can convey how much you love the house. But they could also work against you if you make some common missteps when writing one.
Saying too much about yourself
In many letters to sellers, potential buyers focus on factors like raising a family or having space to host family holidays. They might even include a picture so sellers can put a face with the name on the offer.
However, rather than persuading sellers to pick them, these parties could be giving reasons to discriminate against them. Even though it is unlawful under the Fair Housing Act to discriminate against buyers based on factors like race, gender and marital status, people still do it.
Thus, saying too much about yourself could be unwise.
Sending the wrong message
No matter what you say in your letter to a seller, you could ultimately say the wrong thing. A buyer may not like your writing style, your phrasing or how you refer to specific elements of the home.
For instance, a seller could interpret something like you saying the home “has a lot of potential” as offensive, even if you did not intend it to be.
Relying too much on the letter
A letter could tip the scales in your favour if your offer is otherwise identical to another one. And it could lead the seller to choose your bid even if it is slightly lower than another one.
However, there is only so much a letter can do. As such, it can be crucial not to rely solely on a letter to make your offer attractive. You can work with your lawyer or agent to utilize other measures to improve an offer. Possible options might include raising your offer, waiving inspections or removing contingencies.
So, should we write a love letter?
If you are buying your first home in Ontario, it is up to you to determine whether you want to include a letter with your offer. If you do, keep these tips in mind to avoid common missteps.