NYC Buyers Win Apartments With ... Love Letters

Real estate brokers recommending the practice
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2012 12:41 PM CDT
Lower Manhattan skyline and Hudson River, Monday, March 26, 2012, in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

(Newser) – How to snag a coveted New York City apartment? Increasingly, brokers are recommending an unconventional tactic: love letters. The letters are sent along with the offer, and they should include such heartwarming details as the story of how a couple met (just two blocks away, while walking their dogs!), imagined play dates in the neighborhood with future children, or things potential buyers find particularly wonderful about the home in question. "It’s a love letter," one broker tells the New York Times. "Go for the schmaltz."

The letters "pull at the heartstrings," says another, making what is typically a detached process a bit more intimate. And sometimes they can make a big difference: In one case, a broker recalls, the sellers chose a buyer whose offer was $8,000 less—partially for other reasons, but the letter was what tipped them over the edge. But you have to be careful what you write: One potential buyer, upon discovering he and the seller had been in the same fraternity, filled his letter with references to college parties and "hot women," his broker sighs. "You’re trying to buy the guy’s apartment, and he’s married now."

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