Hot Dallas Housing Market Forces Buyers to Think Outside the Box

A simple letter is becoming an important tool in the hot Dallas housing market.

Real Estate agent Joe Atkins said buyers are doing whatever they can to stand out, which includes writing personal letters in an attempt to appeal to homeowners.

“With my clients, I tell them in this market we have to think outside of the box,” Atkins said. “When we know we’re in a multiple offer situation, what can you offer up to the seller that’s going to pique their interest other than a normal offer of giving them list price.”

Evy Dinsmore recently sold a home and was surprised to receive a heartfelt letter with one of their offers.

“We were just really impressed by getting to know somebody that was going to be buying our home, and it just really hit home,” Dinsmore said. “We just decided these sound like great people, we’ll pick them.”

Atkins said personalizing real estate is no longer the exception, but it’s the norm.

“I actually had a client that had a lake house, and they said they could offer up a couple of weeks free stay at their lake house to the seller,” Atkins said.

Kirsten Conrad, who is currently buying and selling a home in this market, said she has written four letters to four different homeowners.

“It’s been a little crazy,” Conrad said. “My first one was handwritten on a card that I had saved for about five years — just a really beautiful card that was blank inside — something was telling me 'use this card and write this letter to this owner.'”

Conrad said focusing her letters on what may interest homeowners is key.

“The first house that we looked at had a very California feel and that’s my style for sure and my husband, and I met him there and I definitely remembered to mention that in my note — just trying to connect with the owners in that way,” Conrad said.

If reaching out to sellers on a personal level by writing letters really works is still up for debate.

“Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t,” Atkins said. “I think it’s about 50-50.”

Atkins also has his agents send letters to homeowners whose homes are not on the market asking them if they would be interested in selling.

He said a lack of homes for sale in Dallas right now may give them appearance of lagging sales, but in reality more buyers are competing for fewer homes.

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