Personal notes. Do they work?

17th February 2021

Yes, sometimes. No, on others.

Just in case you’re wondering, it actually violates fair housing guidelines to present a photo of the interested parties. (Because they could potentially present the opportunity for a decision to be made on how the individual or individuals look.)

With that aside here’s my take on personal notes.

I have seen, on both sides of the transaction, a lesser offer be accepted because of a personal note.

Does that happen often these days? No.

For example, sometimes I discuss this in advance with my clients. If I expect their home will be attracting quite a bit of attention I will let my clients know that they can probably expect personal notes to come with the offers. Some of these clients will say, “I don’t want to even see those notes until I’ve made a decision.” In advance, it’s much easier to set yourself up to make a choice based on business terms in the contract. It’s much harder in the middle of the transaction to not have emotions impact your choice. I’m not saying that one or the other is right or wrong.

If you are shopping in a less competitive market and you write a personal note explaining your interest in the property then guess what? You could have just lost your negotiating potential.

When representing sellers and receiving a gushing note I share that with my clients, “Well we definitely don’t have to give them the closing costs.” The reason being is because the motivation is there!

So is there a ‘right’ answer for personal notes? Definitely not, it’s a roll of the dice. That is why it’s so important to feel out the seller in advance to see if it would impact their decision making.