A Love Letter… For Your House?
The buyer “love letter.” You may or may not have heard of it. You might have even been the lucky recipient of one at some point, like myself! They are not romantic in nature. Rather, they are designed to either pull at the heart strings of someone selling their home or to stand out in a sea of competitive offers.
This seemingly harmless act of a potential buyer writing a letter to a seller can actually violate fair housing laws. Including simple details of why sellers should pick them such as: “I can imagine my partner and I cooking in meals together in the kitchen” or “I can picture Christmas morning with our three children in the living room around the tree” they are revealing information that could then be unconsciously or knowingly used as a bias in the seller’s decision making.
Is That Even Legal?
Oregon is the first state to make love letters written to sellers illegal. Oregon Govenor, Kate Brown signed a bill into law that say’s seller’s agents must reject such communications from buyers to sellers that contain information outside the traditional offer. Starting January 2022, In Oregon, buyers and sellers cannot communicate in anyway that will reveal the buyer’s race, skin color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, familial status or marital status. Oregon may be the first state to make this move, but many others may not be long behind.
The practice of using love letters has long been popular in competitive markets and will not likely go away all together. What might be a good way for a potential buyer to stand out against competitive offers? How about a different kind of letter? One that draws attention to unique features in the home that stand out to you without including personal details. “We love the landscaping in the backyard. It is obvious that a lot of love and attention has been given to that area” We become very attached to our homes and for some knowing that their hard work stands out and will continue to be maintained by the next homeowner can be very comforting.
If you have any questions about this topic or anything real estate related, please contact me today. I would be happy to answer any questions, or offer a free consultation whether your considering buying or selling a house in Utah.