It was April 21st, 2015, I remember that date because it was the same day that our dog “Jax” turned 1 year old. I had buyer clients that I had been working diligently with in finding a home in the Hunters Creek, FL area. When I eventually showed her what would end up being the home of her dreams, she fell head over heels in love with everything about the property.
The colors reminded her of the home she grew up in, the bonus room was perfect for his home based business as a Gemologist and the open floor plan was exactly what they were looking for. After seeing it, we immediately submitted a full price offer on it.
However, this apparently wasn’t enough for my over anxious buyers. Against my advice as an experienced Orlando realtor, they insisted on writing a letter to the sellers telling them how badly they wanted the home and why, hoping to convince them to accept their offer.
Whether the letter made any difference in the sellers accepting my client’s full price offer or not… I don’t know. What I can tell is that when it came time for me to do some negotiating for my clients so they can get the best deal possible… there was no negotiating. The sellers knew how badly the buyers wanted that house and they were about to start using their leverage.
When it came time for inspections, the home was in overall decent condition but did need some minor repairs like new carpeting and a few screens needed replacing on the back patio deck. Unfortunately, the sellers took full advantage of my clients emotional attachment to a house that wasn’t even theirs yet. They refused to budge on anything… they didn’t even want to pay for the 1st year home warranty which is only a few hundred bucks.
Some real estate agents will actually encourage their buyer clients to write a personal letter to the seller of a home to try and get that emotional edge. What they don’t realize is that this could severely cripple yourself when it comes time negotiate with the seller.
Think about it, you’re disclosing information to the sellers that they will almost certainly use against you at the negotiating table. Wouldn’t you if you were in their position?
There’s no denying that buying or selling a home can be a very emotional decision. The problem is that emotion clouds judgment and can cause you to make the wrong decisions, which in real estate translates to losing money.
As an Orlando real estate agent, It’s my job to get my clients the best deal possible when finding them a house. It’s also my job to keep emotion out if it when it comes time to negotiate the deal. That’s why I advise all of my buyer clients against reaching out to the sellers on a personal level. It’s not worth the risk of being put into a vulnerable position when it’s time to negotiate.
The fact is that 99% of sellers are only concerned with their bottom line and a personal letter from someone they don’t know won’t mean anything to them at all. In my opinion, a personal letter only exposes the buyer’s weakness… their emotional attachment to the house. A buyer’s best bargaining chip is the offer amount. If you want the house that bad and the numbers justify it, then make a full price offer and leave the personal stuff out of it.