With multiple purchase offers being the norm these days in the ever-competitive housing market, it might be tempting for buyers to write a ‘love letter’ to the seller with an irresistible, heartwarming story of why they need this house; all in the hopes to sway sellers to hand-select their offer out of the rest. But the National Association of Realtors recommends not to give in to the appeals of an offer letter for legal purposes.
Communications from buyers to sellers could contain personal information that is outside of the traditional offer and could violate Fair Housing laws. That information could disclose “characteristics of the buyer, such as race, religion, or familial status, which could then be used, knowingly or through unconscious bias, as an unlawful basis for a seller’s decision to accept or reject an offer,” according to NAR.
Oregon is the first state to ban these real estate ‘love letters’ and likely won’t be the last. Starting January of 2022, buyers and sellers cannot communicate in any way that will reveal the buyer’s race, skin color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, familial status, or marital status.
Disclosing information, even unwittingly, offer letters have prompted concern about housing fairness and the potential liability if sellers intentionally cast-off an offer based on revealing details. This could also put REALTORS® in a compromised position. Generally speaking, it may be best practice to refrain from writing offer letters.
One of the best ways to get an edge in this frenzied real estate market is to get pre-qualified. Our team at First United Mortgage is here to assist with your home financing needs in any way we can. Call us today to learn how you can get pre-qualified and start your home search on the right foot. We offer FHA, VA, and USDA programs to buyers in the Greater Dallas Metro area.