These realtor-approved tips will help you keep your foot out of your mouth.  

By Meghan Overdeep
May 5, 2019
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Buying a house can be cutthroat, which is why so many buyers opt to include a heartfelt, personal letter with their offers.

Most experts agree that a home “love letter” can be an easy and effective way to make an offer stand out from the rest. But as Bryan Zuetel, a real estate attorney and managing broker of Esquire Real Estate in Irvine, California, recently explained to Realtor.com, it’s also the perfect opportunity to put your foot in your mouth.

Unfortunately, the wrong thing can be enough to turn a seller off completely. Sad as it may seem, it’s best to avoid religion entirely, which means “I can see our family celebrating Christmas here” is a no-no. You can’t assume other people will share your religious views. That’s why Craig Blackmon, a broker and real estate attorney in Seattle, told Realtor.com that he recommends that home buyers not reveal their religion in an offer letter—plain and simple.

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You’ll also want to steer clear of anything that the seller could view as insulting. So as offensive as their wall-to-wall wood paneling might be to you, never mention it while speaking to the owner.  

"In one case, the buyer went on and on about the huge remodel he would do when he owned the house. But this was a slap in the face to my sellers, who had spent a considerable amount of money in the past five years renovating the property," Andrea Gordon, a real estate agent with Red Oak Realty in Oakland, California, recalled to Realtor.com. Instead, try flattery, which will get you much farther.

Last but not least, try not to seem too desperate. Saying things along the lines of “we’d do anything for this house” can tip your hand and hurt your negotiating power.

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