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Why buyers shouldn’t write “love letters” to potential homes

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions

For a short time, there was a trend where buyers would write love letters about homes that they wanted to purchase. They would then give these letters to the owners of the homes, along with their offer.

The basic idea was just that the person who wanted to buy would get a chance to introduce themselves and tell the owner why they thought the home was such a good fit. Why was this later found to be problematic?

It could lead to discrimination

The problem is that a “love letter” about a home may inadvertently give the seller information they shouldn’t be using to make their decision.

For example, say that a buyer writes that they would love to purchase the home because they already attended the church down the street. They are excited to be able to walk there with their children. It seems like a great neighborhood for their family.

However, a seller is not supposed to take someone’s religion into account when deciding who gets to buy the home. If they do, is that a form of discrimination against potential buyers who don’t attend the church or who aren’t part of the same religion? 

Another example is if a potential buyer includes a picture of their family. They may believe this just adds a personal touch, but it can provide problematic personal information – such as the buyer’s race or ethnic background. Once again, a seller should not be using this information when deciding which offer to accept.

As you can see, real estate transactions can be a bit more complicated than many people assume. Those involved need to understand exactly what legal steps to take.