Deb Albrandt

Should You Write a Buyer’s Letter to the Seller?

You found the perfect home and simply must have it! Your real estate broker is going to present your very strong offer to the seller’s broker and found out that there are several other offers on the home. You are very emotionally tied to getting this home. In this hot real estate market where homes can go within hours of being listed, some buyers are desperate to get the home they want. They may have written offers on several homes but weren’t successful. Writing a letter to the seller “pleading their situation” has occasionally been a tactic of buyers in such situations. Should you as a buyer write a letter to the seller in an emotional appeal for the seller to accept your offer? Consider the following.

Letter to Seller

What a Buyer’s Letter Is + When to Present It

A buyer’s letter to the seller is just that: a letter written by the buyer to the seller of the home that the buyer wants to purchase to encourage the seller to accept his offer. Letters are most often used when competition for homes is strong, there are multiple offers on a home, or when the buyer feels there is a special reason that the seller should accept his offer. The buyer may explain how this home fits him perfectly, what it would mean to his family to live there, tell the seller how well the home would be taken care of or restored, complement the seller on particular features of the home, etc., all aimed to get the seller to accept his offer. The buyer may also talk about his solid finances, job status, down payment, etc. to confirm his financial strength to purchase the home. The letter should be presented by the broker at the same time as the offer is being presented to the seller.

In some instances a seller may request a letter from prospective buyers. A buyer can include any of the items in the previous paragraph as well as a photo of the buyer and family. However, the seller must be cautious about basing his decision on any discrimination that could violate the Fair Housing Act.

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Evaluating Price Per Square Foot as an Indicator of Value

The Metro Denver real estate market is hot! Even so, buyers don’t want to overpay for a home. Likewise, sellers want to get the highest price they can for their home.

When looking at homes buyers often ask, “What is the price per square foot for the home?” Likewise, sellers may say, “The home down the street sold at so much per square foot, so why shouldn’t mine sell for at least that much?” These seemingly simple questions can actually be quite complicated. Solely using price per square foot may not be a good basis on which to compare home prices. Here’s why:

Measuring Price per Square Foot

Square footage can be measured in a variety of ways

It’s important to know whether the measurement includes:

  • above ground square feet only
  • below ground square feet
  • main level and upper level
  • finished square feet only
  • finished or unfinished square feet in a basement
  • all or some levels in a tri-level
  • any garages
  • the surrounding lot.

Unless price per square foot is based on exactly the same criteria, the comparison may not be valid.

It’s important to compare “like” homes

“Like” means homes approximately the same style (i.e. single family or condo), age, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, stories, location, lot size, and price range. Factors such as views or special amenities can be important to review. If you don’t compare “like” homes, you can get a substantial range in square foot prices. (more…)

The Difference Between Condos, Lofts, Apartments, & Co-ops

Sometimes the jargon used in real estate seems confusing, and words appear to be interchangeable.  When looking for a condo, loft, apartment, or cooperative apartment, this may help clarify for you.  What’s the difference?

Condos, Lofts, Apartments, vs. Co-Ops

Condominiums

A condominium is a type of ownership. Often shortened to “condo”, it is a collection of individual residential or commercial units and common areas as well as the land upon which they sit.  A condo can be attached to other units or can be a collection of detached units.

Boundaries

Individual ownership within a condo is construed as ownership of only the air space confining the boundaries of the unit. The boundaries of that space are specified by a legal document known as a Declaration which is filed with the local governing authority. These boundaries will typically include the wall surrounding a condo, allowing the unit owner to make some interior modifications without impacting the common areas. Anything outside this boundary is held in undivided joint ownership interest by a corporation established when the condo was created. The corporation holds this property in trust on behalf of the unit owners as a group and does not have ownership itself.

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