CLEVELAND. The era of home buyers writing letters to sellers trying to influence their decisions seems to be over.
Seth Task, president of Ohio Realtors, explained that while buyers would like to compliment the seller for their fenced-in backyard so the kids can grow up, or the spacious living room on Christmas morning, these comments can be problematic.
Tusk told News 5 that he no longer accepts “love letters” from buyers and encourages other realtors to do the same to avoid any possible discrimination.
“If the decision is made on the basis of a letter, and not other letters, it is clearly a question of fair housing,” – explained Task.
News 5 spoke to several realtors in Northeastern Ohio, who all explained that they see about 25% of salespeople’s agents no longer accept love letters, up from almost none a year ago.
“We’ve been recommending letters for a very long time,” Task said. “You are trying to pull the strings of the seller’s heart. You are trying to establish a connection in some capacity. This heartfelt letter can put you first. Maybe the salesperson charges $ 2,000 less because he likes your letter. “
Oregon recently passed a new law coming into force in 2022 prohibiting buyers from sending letters to sellers to influence their decision.
This marks the latest shift in the ever-changing real estate landscape, with buyers offering to drop checks, fill valuation gaps, and make an invisible offer.
Earlier this month, News 5 highlighted how sellers will no longer be allowed to list homes as Coming Soon starting August 1st.
Fair housing rules at the federal, state and local levels now prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, marital status, origin, national origin, disability, military status, sexual orientation and gender identity …
“It’s incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to write a love letter and not mention at least one of these protected classes,” added Task.
Tanesha Hunter is director of training and public affairs at the Fair Housing Center for Rights and Research and points to tens of thousands of dollars in fines for sellers who discriminate. Agents can also lose their licenses due to violations of housing regulations, she said.
“We believe there are over 30,000 cases of housing discrimination in our region. [every year] but they go unnoticed, ”she explained. “Instead of writing these love letters and talking about personal things, talk about your enthusiasm for the property. You love the fireplace, you love the backyard, you love the kitchen. “
News 5 has contacted the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Department of Real Estate and Licensing in this regard. The spokesperson said that while they did not deal with any specific cases where this type of letter was considered discriminatory, it was something on their radar.
There are currently no bills in the Ohio legislature to prohibit homebuyers from “love letters.”