Get the seller to like you
Letting the seller know why you want to live in the property they once called home improves your chances of winning a bid.
That's how homebuyer Ann Banks recently landed a contract on a Cooper City, Fla., home.
"I wrote a letter to the sellers and said that I wanted to be close to my grandchildren and that their home was so beautiful, so spacious and close to their school," Banks says.
At the time, she didn't know the sellers, too, were moving to be near their own grandchildren. Banks' letter and offer were submitted in the afternoon and accepted within hours. The sellers had at least three other offers to choose from.
Real estate agent Da Silva says the old-fashioned letter is one of the most useful tools for buyers these days.
"I always tell my clients: Do the letter," she says. "If the sellers live there, they love the house, and they are more inclined to give it to someone they have more in common with. It's the human factor."
If you are not sure what to write the seller, just speak from the heart, Banks says.
"Let them know how important the house is to you, how special it is," she says. "Let them know you are going to take good care of it."