How the Heck to Buy a House Today, Part II
How do you connect with a home-seller who’s into nudie pics? I found out…
What About the Naked Pictures?
An interview with Envoy Mortgage’s fab mortgage banker/Hollywood insider, Christina Gobe, continued.
Just the Assistant: Okay Gobe. In part one of our interview, you were in the middle of answering my question about how to buy a house in this market. Give us some more scoop.
Gobe: Next, I recommend for buyers to get pre-approved for a loan instead of pre-qualified.
JTA: Now, wait a minute. Why come? I thought getting prequalified is legit.
[JTA Note: Here’s a post where I explain the difference between pre-quals and pre-approvals. Blah Blah Blah.]
Gobe: Let’s say I’m selling my house, and I have three offers that are very similar in price, and I see that two of the people have been pre-qualified for a house, but the third person has actually been pre-approved. I’m going to accept the bid of the person who has the best chance of actually securing the financing to buy my house.
JTA: That makes sense. Okay, what else?
Gobe: Finally, I would tell people to not be afraid of writing a cover letter when they put in an offer.
JTA: I’ve heard of these. It’s like a love letter, but about a house, right?
Gobe: Yeah, kind of. When we put the offer on our house last year, I wrote a letter to the buyer and told her how I was really looking forward to raising my kids there, and how I’d always wanted a white house with black stutters. Then I complimented her decorating, saying “I hope I’ll be able to decorate it as beautifully as you have…”
JTA: You suck-up! So you think that helps in the “multiple offer” situations?
Gobe: Yes. Like I said, if they have two offers that are pretty similar, the seller is going to look at other factors. And most sellers want to sell their house to someone who will love it and take care of it.
JTA: So people shouldn’t write stuff like, “I can’t wait to redo that nasty kitchen of yours.”
Gobe: Exactly. I’ve even heard of people sending a picture of themselves or their family. You should just try to find a connection with the sellers.
JTA: That happened to a friend of mine when he sold his house. Some lady wrote him a letter after spying a guitar in his living room and claimed she was all into music.
But answer me this, Gobe. A couple of years ago when I was house-hunting, we saw this one house where the owners had naked pictures of themselves on the walls of the hallway. And they’d made one of the shots into a hologram. I’m not making this up.
Can you please give me some advice on writing a cover letter for this family? Like, how do I connect with that?
Gobe: Well, ah…Maybe you could say something like, “I, too, appreciate the human body. Not really my own, but human bodies in general?” (Laughing) Or you could tie in the idea about sending a picture.
JTA: Ha! You’re the best, Gobe. Okay, I know you’re busy, so while you go answer all your phone calls, I’m going to work up a quick draft of a cover letter our reader(s) can use.
Dear (Homeowner’s first name, or a nickname you give him/her but not like a sexy nickname, unless you’re into that sort of thing, and in that case, let me know how it goes),
Is it weird to say I am in love with your (townhome, house, bungalow)? While walking through each room, I couldn’t help but picture my (child(ren), dog, cats, alcoholic uncle) growing up and learning how to (walk, sit and stay, sleep more?, hide his drinking habit from his boss) within these walls. Once I got to your bedroom and saw your (wedding photo, pistol, handcuffs, Bible) on the nightstand, I knew we had a deep connection. I’m (married, afraid of intruders, into that stuff, a Christian) too!
With that, please know that though my offer on your house is (full asking price, a little under full asking price, insultingly lower than asking price, twelve dollars), it is the best I can do, and I hope you accept so that I can turn your home into my home!
(Your first name, Your first name plus your kid(s)’ name(s), Your first name plus your dog’s first name plus a paw print, Your first name plus your cat’s first AND last name, Your first name plus your uncle’s name)