Writing an Offer Letter? Don't Mention These Things

When making an offer on a home, including a personal letter can go a long way toward getting onto the seller's good side. As you can imagine, selling a home in which you've lived for many years can be an emotional experience, so a few words of understanding and encouragement can sometimes be the factor that sets your offer apart from the others. Of course, a bad letter can have just the opposite affect by making a poor impression. Beyond the obvious things like spelling and grammar, the key factor to a good offer letter isn't so much what you put in as it is what you leave out. In this post, you can read about the topics that you'll want to avoid in your offer letter and see some specific examples of phrases that should never be included.

1. Anything that makes you seem desperate

First and foremost, don't say anything in the offer letter that gives the seller the upper hand in the sale. Even though you want to be honest with them, it is important to remember that this is still an extremely importantly financial negotiation for both of you. Phrases to avoid: "I would do anything for this house", "I need to close before this date", "This house is my only option", etc.

2. Anything that could be offensive

The goal of the letter is essentially to make the seller like you more, which means that you won't want to include any statements that could conceivably cause offense. Although this isn't always easy to do, there are a few sensitive topics that are best avoided entirely. Religion and politics are two obvious examples, but another is the decorating or design of the house itself. Even if the comment seems benign to you, the seller might take it as an affront to their sense of taste. Phrases to avoid: "I can't wait to repaint the living room", "The kitchen will look amazing after I replace the cabinets", etc.

3. Anything negative about the offer

This might seem like an obvious topic to avoid, but buyers are often tempted to mention shortcomings in their offer as a way to seem more honest and open in the letter. Phrases to avoid: "I know it's a low offer", "I'm sorry about all the contingencies", etc.

These are just a few of the potentially damaging mistakes that buyers make when writing an offer letter. For more advice about this topic, check out this article from Realtor.com.