I could use some advice from the hive mind! My real estate agent wants me to write a letter to the home owner, professing my love for the house, admiration for the architecture, and respect for its long history...And why I’m making an offer $120k below asking price. 🙄


The house is 160 years old. While (mostly) architecturally sound, it is in rough shape overall. Two of the bedrooms do not have heat, so the duct work needs reworking, & the furnace is over 25 years old. That’s a $10k job.

The house is on 60 amp service, with the original knob & tube wiring. I’ve already secured 2 estimates, and rewiring the whole house & converting to a 200 amp supply will be a $15-20k job. This work would need to be done immediately, as most home insurers won’t insure k&t wiring.


Then the house needs to be scraped of it’s lead paint, and repainted. A $10k job, conservatively. The kitchen, as I’ve previously mentioned, is an empty box with no counters or cabinets. Another $5-10k. The floors are in really rough shape, and will need to be refinished. There’s a stack on the roof that’s leaking into the attic. There’s plumbing work that needs addressing. The stairs to the walkout cellar are completely crumbled. And so on...

This is all just to make the house livable, let alone attractive or cosmetic.

Has anyone drafted a letter like this? I’m assuming I need to strike a balance between simpering and hardball, right? Any and all advice is appreciated! (My real estate agent has already told me to run, so that advice has been given!)


ETA: some pertinent info I didn’t mention: the house has been on the market for a little over two years, with only one other offer that fell through. It is *ludicrously* over comps for the area. There are homes in the township of similar age that have sold for a pittance due to their condition, and others have received +$250k because they are pristine. They’re asking around the pristine price with the pittance condition. 😭