When it comes to buying a house in the DC Metro area, the competition is at an all time high. It is typical for a property to have multiple offers from five different parties within the first week of the property hitting the market. Thus, it is critical to have competitive advantage over other buyers in all aspects of your offer package. In the past, I've talked about how to write a winning offer, but I want to focus this tip on a specific aspect of a great offer package - The Personal Letter.
A personal letter is a letter from the buyers to sellers explaining why they want to buy the house while sharing a little bit of the buyer's story. While these do not guarantee a leg up on your competition, taking an hour to write one of these is well worth the time. I've personally had listing agents on multiple occasions tell me that the owner's choose our offer because they loved the letter so much even though there were other offers with a higher sales price (offers $5,000 to $15,000 higher!!!).
When you write the letter, you want to keep it short and sweet. You want to describe how you felt when you first walked into the house, how you love the neighborhood, and how you like the personal touches made to the home. You also want to share a little about your personal story in terms of your family, career, hobbies, etc..
Lastly, you want to include a really nice picture of yourself. I can not urge you enough how much this simple letter can increase your chances of winning a home in a multiple offer situation. I won't lie and say that it makes the difference every time but more times than not, it is the deciding factor in dead even scenario.
To learn more about the home buying process, check out our buyer's guide here.