Help me compose a letter/buy a flat
September 18, 2013 7:39 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to buy a flat in a particular building. I'm going to do a hand-written letterdrop, but would love some advice about the best way to execute this.

Mr EXISTENZ and I have received an offer on our one bedroom flat and are looking for a two bedroom flat to buy. We have identified a building nearby that has 2B flats that seem to suit our requirements and price range.

Unfortunately, there are no flats for sale in that building at the moment. I've registered with several local real estate agents, and although the agent who sold our own flat has done a letterdrop in the desired building, nothing has yet become available.

A friend suggested that we hand-write a slightly more personal letter and do our own letterdrop. Apparently this kind of letter is much more effective than a generic photocopied one from an agent—but I would like some advice before I sit down to churn out 50-60 of these things by hand.

I'm thinking the wording should be along these lines:

** ** **

Dear homeowner,

We're a couple who have been living in [area] for the past [x] years.

We're really keen to move in to a 2-bedroom flat in [building]. If you're interested in selling to us privately, which would save you about [££] in estate agency fees, please contact us.



1st 2 lines of address

** ** **

Does that sound about right? Is there anything else I should include?

Also, I imagine it's worth buying some slightly less 'businessy' paper & envelopes (i.e. not just the white printer paper and DL envelopes I have to hand)?

If you've ever been through this process, I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

[If it matters, our current flat is an ex-council authority flat in central London, as is the one we hope to buy.]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
You could do that, but it may be that no one in the building wants to sell his or her flat.

I had a friend who sold her Villa based on such a letter, so give it a try.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:58 AM on September 18, 2013

My in-laws recently sold their home in a gated community based on receiving such a letter. My only advice would be to realize that you will need to pay full market value (at least) to make this work. Basically, you are saying to people, if you have any interest in moving in the next X months, I will but your flat at your asking price without the hassle of putting it on the market.
posted by hworth at 8:02 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

You could add more details, like maybe why you need a bigger place. For instance, if you need a bigger place because your planning to have a baby or because your granny is coming to live with you, say so, it might help.

I own a house in Florida and get a lot of these notes, they're often handwritten but they don't give any real personal details, and they don't even state why they particularly want my (totally funky) house. I just toss them because I don't want to sell. I also suspect many of them are from real estate speculators.
posted by mareli at 8:20 AM on September 18, 2013

Response by poster: > My only advice would be to realize that you will need to pay full market value (at least) to make this work.

Yeah, we figured this would be the case. In fact (and I forgot to put this in my question) our friend even suggested we include our budget in the letter. Is this an insane idea? I can see pros and cons.

> You could add more details, like maybe why you need a bigger place.

Thanks; this is a good suggestion (though I'm not sure 'because my husband needs an additional room to house his ever-expanding collection of 60s soul records' is an especially persuasive reason).
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:01 PM on September 18, 2013

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