Why write a personal letter to the sellers when submitting a purchase offer?

Dear SellerWhat is the benefit to you, as a Silicon Valley home buyer, in writing a personal letter to the sellers to accompany your purchase offer?  Why do so many real estate professionals ask their buyers to take a few moments and jot a personal note to the seller.  Does it really help?

A nice letter of introduction by a home buyer can do a few things.  First, it personalizes your offer so that the sellers have a sense of who you are – that is, more than just numbers on a contract, but a real person (or people) who may be quite likeable.  Second, it may help to demonstrate that you are trying harder and are going the extra mile from the beginning, hence you might be better to deal with in contract. With the sense of you as an individual and as someone who tries a little harder, it may just make the seller warm up to you – and that’s a help.

A letter, or even a letter with a photo, won’t usually make much difference if there’s an offer with more money and fewer contingencies on the table, but a nicely done, sincere effort in writing by a buyer can certainly make the difference if it’s a situation where your bid is tied with one or two others.  Sometimes several offers come in together with many falling into a “pack” of sorts. In those cases, little things can make one offer stand out in the crowd.