“Love letters” belong to another partner, not the home seller, an increasing number of realtors believe.
Ohio Realtors President Seth Task was the last to speak out against letters, a tactic traditionally used by prospective home buyers as a means of establishing personal connections with sellers and gaining an edge over competing bidders.
Tusk told News 5 Cleveland that he no longer welcomes love letters and encourages other realtors to reject them as well.
In northeastern Ohio, an estimated 25 percent of salespeople’s agents stopped accepting letters because of growing fears that they might be contributing to discrimination.
In October, the National Association of Realtors started warning real estate agents that the letters were “potential liability”.
The Fair Housing Act explicitly prohibits sellers from accepting or rejecting offers based on protected characteristics such as race, religion, or marital status. Because love letters can often reveal such personal information about buyers, NAR warns, accepting them could expose agents and their clients to fair housing law violations.
While the use of love letters has ceased to be popular in Ohio, there is currently no law prohibiting them. The same cannot be said for Oregon, which recently became the first state to ban letters.
According to KGW8Bill 2550, signed by Gov. Keith Brown in June, instructs agents not to allow direct communication between buyers and sellers beyond the traditional offering.
[News 5 Cleveland] – Holden Walter-Warner