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Frustrated buyer turns to mass mailing

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis December 11, 2013 06:37 AM

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Here's a new twist on that old idea of writing to the seller.

A Topsfield couple recently hit the jackpot after sending out a mass mailing to a hundred or so homes in Topsfield and Danvers seeking potential sellers, the Globe reports.

OK, this wasn't some form letter. The couple, Dan and Meghan Keith, did a fair amount of research, narrowing targeted homes down to ones they could afford and would want to live in.

The letter included a family picture with their daughter and dog, the story notes.

The couple took the plunge after months of fruitless house hunting, unable to find anything on the market that fit their needs.

"Everybody thought I was crazy," Meghan Keith tells the Globe. "But it ended up working out, which is weird."

And the research? That involved riding around, taking notes of appealing homes and going online to check assessment records.

The Keiths also screened out any homes owned by other young families, under the theory that they would not be likely to want to sell.

Instead, they focused on homes owned by older couples, hoping they might be interested in downsizing, according to the Globe piece.

The unconventional approach - at least for buyers, brokers often use mass mailings - paid off with three serious replies.

The Keiths are now settling into a $600,000, four-bedroom colonial they bought from an older couple who had been planning on moving to a nearby retirement community, but had not yet put their home up for sale, the story notes.

With the number of homes for sale on the market at their lowest levels in years, the frustrating situation the Keiths found themselves in before launching their letter writing campaign is shared by many would-be buyers out there.

What's different is how they responded, basically becoming their own real estate brokers.

If you want to find a house to buy these days, you may have to work to find it. And be a little creative.

Ready to start mass mailing potential sellers? If brokers can do it, why shouldn't buyers do it as well?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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