Business & Real Estate

Writing a love letter to clinch the house deal

It’s Valentine’s Day, so don’t forget to write a love note to your spouse, your children, your significant other – and the owner of the house you’ve fallen in love with.

Playing hard to get isn’t going to work in the current housing market. Potential buyers are pulling out all the creative stops to make an impression and win over the hearts of sellers, and I’m here to tell you that it works.

In these love letters, I’ve seen clients give personal details and explain why the seller’s home is perfect for their family. My clients provide family photos, offer a detailed list of how the home fits their needs and describe how they can see their family enjoying particular features of the owner’s beloved home.

Letters are a heartfelt way to add a personal and unique touch to the bidding process. And in this market, of course you will overbid on the house, let the sellers live there rent-free for multiple months, give them all cash tomorrow and close in five days, no questions asked. Is this crazy? Is this real? Yes and yes.

This is the dating scene in our current housing market. So does the letter help? Sometimes. It really depends on the situation.

When there are multiple offers and you are close in price and terms (all cash, no contingencies, etc.), a letter can definitely help give you an edge. Selling your home is a very personal and emotional process. A letter explaining who you are and why you want to buy the home can make the process feel less cold and more warm and fuzzy.

But does warm and fuzzy seal the deal? In some cases, yes. Sellers have been known to even leave money on the table because they reportedly “liked the terms of another offer” better. Sometimes the love letter has given an offer that is very close to others the opportunity to come up in price or the option to change the terms to win the bidding process.

The stakes are high, especially considering there are only nine houses currently for sale in Los Altos.

You might say, “Well, I’m ‘all cash,’” but so is your competition. So if you’ve been in the market for a while and you’ve fallen in love with too many houses that got away, this strategy could work for you.

Jen Komo Paulson is a realtor with Sereno Group in Los Altos. For more information, call 996-7147 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Writing a love letter to clinch the house deal

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