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Dear Seller: Love Letters and Our Market

At The Shanahan Group, we have been talking as a group and to our clients about the competitiveness of todays real estate market. Whether as buyer or seller, its critical that you have a team of trusted advisors (REALTOR, attorney, mortgage professional etc) to help navigate the process this spring. As we prepare for the busy spring season, we will be posting insights from our agents, industry professionals and more to shed some light on our market today. Enjoy this weeks post! If you are a buyer in the real estate market today, you know how competitive things can be. If you arent in the market, ask a buyer or your favorite real estate agent- they will tell you. Bottom line: Given our historically low inventory levels, its a very competitive time to be buying a house where a well priced home in good condition doesnt last long and usually sells in multiple offers. According to the Wall Street Journal, (Can I Buy Your House, Pretty Please? WSJ 1/10/2013), we are not alone in this kind of market. Silicon Valley, Washington DC, Chicago and Seattle are all experiencing a market where homes are selling very quickly and in multiple offers, given very tight inventory levels. According to the National Association of Realtors, there were just 2.14 million homes for sale at the end of 2012- thats a decrease of 22% and the lowest level in a decade. Locally, that number varies by community, but most have seen even more dramatic decreases in inventory since the previous year. So what is a buyer to do? To separate from the pack of buyers, we have seen a resurgence of a tactic that was popular in the boom years - the love letter. If you arent familiar with it, the love letter is just that, only its to a seller of a property that you would like to purchase. Also called the buyer pitch letter, it should connect the property to you as a buyer. The intent is to give the seller a sense for who you are, what you love most about the property, how you would live in the house etc. In the last year, we have had several clients write a letter in a multiple offer situation, most with great success. These are presented by your REALTOR with the Offer to Purchase and can be a handwritten note or a typed letter. It seems silly on the surface, but its a real way to distinguish yourself from other buyers and can be the key to winning the house. At the end of the day, sellers need to make a decision that it best for them and their situation, but when terms of an offer are similar, the love letter can personalize the process and distinguish one buyer from another. The video below is a recap of the article from the Wall Street Journal about Love Letters. Enjoy! http://youtu.be/85qb0kBw8UY

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