You found a home that you really love, but the market is pretty hot right now where you’re looking. You suspect (or know) that your bid on the house is going to be one of several that the sellers will receive.
You want to write a letter to the sellers to tell them just how much you love their home and what it would mean to you to be chosen as their buyer. Your realtor (or the seller’s realtor), however, isn’t so keen on the idea and refuses to take it.
What’s going on? Why wouldn’t any realtor want to make the best deal possible for their client?
Realtors are trying to avoid legal complications over house sales
Essentially, realtors everywhere are shying away from these so-called buyer “love letters,” even though they were once heavily encouraged on buyers’ blogs and other websites. While Massachusetts hasn’t (yet) made them illegal, some states have already banned them. That’s given realtors everywhere pause.
What makes these letters problematic? Well, essentially if a seller makes a decision based on what they read in one of those letters, they could be in violation of Fair Housing Regulations that prohibit seller discrimination based on:
- Familial status
- Military status
- National Origin
- Sex, sexual orientation or gender identity
It’s very difficult not to reveal some of those things in a personal letter, and that could ultimately lead to massive fines for the sellers and damage to a realtor’s professional reputation and license.
Buying a house is an incredibly complex process, so it’s wise to be cautious. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, understanding the risks you are taking and knowing what’s too risky to do is important.