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The Blissful Bee
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Thank you for stopping by The Blissful Bee! I'm Amy and I'm the writer and designer behind the blog. I have a passion for interior design, fashion and simply living a stylish life. I hope you enjoy your "stay"!

19 Comments

  1. Trust me. If you are a potential home buyer, this is not the direction you want to go. We just received a similar letter in the mail and live in a high demand area in Minneapolis. Our house is not listed for sale. I am beyond creeped out but it. Plus the fact that you are encouraging people to “stalk” others that don’t have their houses listed for sale? Let me tell you as a homeowner that has received this letter: it does NOT land well and isn’t at all credible. Only came across this post because I’m so weirded out that I started searching why these letters are sent. Hoping I can save future homeowners from feeling this way!

    • The Blissful Bee

      I’m so sorry you feel this way! In our area it’s very common and many of the houses around here sell “off the market” because of instances like this. And I hope you can understand that my “stalker” comment was a complete joke.

    • Lindsey – I think the best thing is to simply… don’t fell like you feel. We are so rich in this country that a letter bumps us – so protected that we are weirded out at the most minor item. When inventory is low in an area we are trying to move to, it is within reason to send and even expect to receive such letters. Keep this in mind when you are telling your kids to simply choose to have fun: choose to not be weirded out. Choose to see this as it intended. It DOES land well some percentage of the time that actually works and thus encourages people to continue. And, this is very important for you to hear: though I don’t intend to offend, I do intend to provide tension – the means by which we grow: people do not need to be protected by you outside of an instance where a human ACTUALLY needs protection, ie. from violence or coercion. With all good intent: you do not have a right for you sensibilities to go unmolested in life. CHOOSE to lighten up. CHOOSE to be other than humorless. And CHOOSE to toss the letter in the garbage the next time you receive one.

    • Lindsay, I’ve bought 2 homes this way. The success rate is LOW, because most people will not want to sell and will throw the letter in the trash. But, volume is key. All you need is one person to respond, and clearly it wasn’t you, but people I’ve met usually had a personal issue that is forcing them to sell, and this is exactly what they needed to happen to them. This is actually MUCH better for homeowner because if you can complete transaction without a realtor, they stand to make a lot more money without the 6% fees. And, less of the heartache of staging, listing their home. This is a great article and gave me some more ideas like reaching out to neighborhood associations etc. thank you! We are hoping to move in a historic district with low volume as well.

    • I agree with you, Lindsey. I am BOMBARDED by these creepers every week, and SO sick of it. It is invasive and pesky. I have even had people send me postcards of the pictures they’ve taken of my house! LEAVE US ALONE!

  2. Amy, your post has been so helpful and encouraging! We have a very tight market for buyers in my New England town, I know because I am also a RE Agent. My husband & I have been so discouraged that I wrote a letter to the owner of a lovely home this past fall. She responded positively but her time frame is probably too much longer than we’d like to wait (a solid year). I would like to write to 2-3 more homeowners but my husband thinks it’s too… bold? Any suggestions for getting back into the letter writing game? Thanks!
    Erin

    • The Blissful Bee

      I wouldn’t give up! And even though a year sounds like a long time, you might still want to keep in touch if its a home you really love. Who knows, it might be worth waiting for! And like I said, this is a slow process, so immediate responses aren’t the norm. I would totally give it another try and try to stay positive and open minded! Just remember to respect their privacy and if they’re not ready to sell, no biggie. On to the next opportunity! Good luck with your home search!!

      • Good advice! They also could have a major life occurrence in the next 6 months that changes their mind. You never know what’s going on with people! Checking in is a great idea.

  3. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for this post! I have been thinking about sending out letters to homeowners who home’s are not up for sale. i cant decide if I want to send a handwritten post card or letter (which would you send?).

    Also wanted to ask if it would be ok to use the sample letter you provided in this post. Its short, sweet to the point and wonderfully said.

    • The Blissful Bee

      Go for it! And yes, please use the template I provided – that’s what it’s there for:) I would just always make sure to keep it heart-felt and honest. When we first met the home owner who eventually sold us their house, we were completely transparent in our home search struggle and how we started reaching out to other home owners. They completely understood because many others had reached out to them in the past in the same exact way. Lucky for us, it worked out and the timing was right!

      I do think a post card would be cute! We just mainly sent Facebook messages and also wrote a few letters, but a post card is also a great idea! Some people filter their Facebook messages, so they might not see it for a while. Leaving a letter in their mailbox might be the better way to go.

  4. Hi Amy,
    This was very helpful information. I appreciate your listing in detail the steps you took to buy your off-market home. As my husband and I work on searching for a home, I am finding that this may be a very real avenue that we’re going to explore.

  5. Hi!

    Looking to start doing this in my targeted neighborhood. I have a question about how your realtor was compensated since you found the home on your own. Happy to send that question privately if that is preferred.

    Thanks much,

    Jessica

  6. Hi Lindsey,
    I love your article and it makes me feel good that I am not the only “house stalker” out there. I plan to do exactly what you did. Where i want to live has a very small community of historic homes that rarely hit the market, and when they do they are swooped up. How did you agree on a price? Did you get the house appraised? We have a current home we would have to sell first, and I am not sure what that would play into negotiating. Any advice is appreciated. Alissa

  7. Oh my goodness this is exactly what my SO and I are going through as well, and we live in Fort worth too! We have been looking for about a year now…multiple failed offers that were a little too late (1-2 hrs) or just being completely outbid. We had 2 contracts that fell through due to the tight market and the sellers crazy demands here. I’d love to hear more details on how you did it. I am the type of person that is really connected to where I live and just like you if I’m not moved by the home, it is really difficult to see myself living in it. We are also looking for a historic home, especially in the Oakhurst area (SO HARD to come by a house here!) I’m really sick of the traditional house hunting, and we are tired of apt living. Did anyone ever respond to the ads you ran? Did you pay more than market value for the home? So many questions! Thank you SO much for this article, it’s helped kick me in gear and change direction in the house hunting game. 🙂

  8. “Chad and I’s” should be “Chad’s and my.” You wouldn’t say “I’s house,” right? You’d say “my house.” Same rule, which has to do with the difference between a subject and an object. “I’s” is never, ever grammatically correct under any circumstances, whether written or spoken.

  9. Wow, finding this post was exactly what I needed today! My husband and I are moving from DFW down to a small town north of Houston and have had NO luck finding a house! So far going the conventional route through a realtor hasn’t worked for us but like you, I’m going to keep at it until we find our home. I loved it when you said, “If what you’re doing isn’t working, the obvious answer is to change it up.” I’m about to write letters to several homeowners hoping one will be willing to talk to us about selling. It’s great to hear that it can work and love that you found your beautiful home! Fingers crossed!!!

  10. So far this is the closest thing I have found to my situation… but also not 100%! There is an abandoned building on my street, and I have a dream of purchasing it and rehabbing. The original owners passed away, and never officially gave it to anyone. However, the city gave me the name and address of person who is in “care and control”… she owes back taxes, and if left unpaid this year it will go up for auction the following one. I would really love to purchase this building from her so I don’t have to bid against other people… would you recommend using this same template?!

    Thanks in advance!

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