How can agents give their Buyers a competitive edge?
Yesterday I was at a big meeting with some of the best agents in Los Angeles. We were talking about writing "Buyer Love Letters". This is one thing we usually do as Buyer's Agents to help our clients stand out against other buyers.
Here's the twist:
Then, we asked ourselves as Listing Agents, "What do we do with these letters when we're on the receiving end?" Most of us don't see the value of the letters. Neither do most Sellers.
Does that stop us front writing letters? No.
Should it stop us? Yes!
We know they're not effective, yet we continue to write them. In fact, many of the agents I met with yesterday staunchly defended them as part of their offer strategy.
As I write this, I am selling my own home, and I will tell you: I could care less if my buyer likes to hike and has two dogs. The only thing I really care about is whether they write a good strong offer, don't cause problems in escrow, and actually CLOSE! I also want to know that their agent knows what he's doing, and has a good relationship with his clients.
Bottom Line: Can we trust them? As Buyers, we convey this trust in two ways:
When you write an offer, say it like you mean it! Write a strong offer. Make sure they're paying attention to you. There is a big difference between buyers trying to "get a deal" and buyers trying to "get the home of their dreams". Know the difference between the two, and get comfortable with the market so you know how to get the Seller's attention.
"Without promotion, something terrible happens... nothing!" -PT Barnum
This is where your agent starts to earn his money. Your agent should be making sure your name comes up in every conversation the Seller has with their agent. They know your name, your agent's name, your price, and the great terms that sets your offer apart from the rest. When I list houses, I get offers from agents who email the offer, and I never hear from them again.
No phone call to see if I even got the offer, no follow up the day after, nothing. Oh, they did send me a "Buyer Love Letter" though! Lucky for most Buyers, I am very organized as a Listing Agent, and I know every offer that came in, as well as the pro's and con's for each. But, don't count on that from your Average Agent. You'll be lucky to have them answer their phone on most days--unless it's the weekend, then forget it!
I'm not saying "Don't write Buyer Love Letters".
I'm just saying, "If you do write a letter, don't let that be the only thing that sets you apart from the other buyers."
Sending the Sellers a cute picture of you and your family is not going to make them pick you over another buyer. This isn't an ASPCA commercial.
The Million Dollar Question: What differentiates you and your offer from everyone else?