Realtors no longer ♡ “love letters” to sellers

The seemingly harmless tactic could lead to fair housing violations, industry groups warn

National /
Jul.July 23, 2021 07:00 AM
Realtors no longer heart “love letters” to sellers

(iStock)

“Love letters” belong in the hands of a significant other, not a home seller, a growing number of realtors say.

Ohio Realtors president Seth Task is the latest to come out against the letters, a tactic traditionally used by potential home buyers as a means of forming a personal connection with sellers and gaining an edge on rival bidders.

Task told News 5 Cleveland that he no longer welcomes love letters and encourages fellow realtors to reject them as well.

In Northeast Ohio, approximately 25 percent of sellers’ agents have stopped accepting the letters amid growing concerns that they could enable discrimination.

In October, the National Association of Realtors began warning real estate agents that the letters were a “potential liability.”

The Fair Housing Act explicitly prohibits sellers from accepting or rejecting offers on the basis of protected characteristics such as race, religion or familial status. Because love letters can often reveal such personal information about buyers, NAR cautioned, accepting them could expose agents and their clients to fair housing violations.

While the use of love letters is falling out of favor in Ohio, there is no legislation banning them at this point. The same can’t be said for Oregon, which recently became the first state to outlaw the letters.

According to KGW8, House Bill 2550 — signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown in June — instructs agents to prevent direct communication between buyers and sellers, apart from a traditional offer.

[News 5 Cleveland] — Holden Walter-Warner





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Silver Lining Ranch in Aspen (Redfin, Illustration by The Real Deal)
    Aspen Mansion sells for a steep $69M
    Aspen Mansion sells for a steep $69M
    145 Reade Street (Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal with Getty Images, Zillow)
    Real estate investor lists Tribeca townhouse for first time in 20 years
    Real estate investor lists Tribeca townhouse for first time in 20 years
    Corcoran's David Mayer and Compass' Augusto Bittencourt (Corcoran, Compass, Getty)
    Foreign investors shift real estate strategies as dollar strengthens
    Foreign investors shift real estate strategies as dollar strengthens
    Ron Burkle and 704 Broadway (Modlin Group, Hugoatyugo/CC BY-SA 3.0/via Wikimedia Commons)
    Billionaire Ron Burkle selling Noho penthouse
    Billionaire Ron Burkle selling Noho penthouse
    Tim Foley (Anywhere, Getty Images)
    Anywhere Real Estate’s Tim Foley resigns
    Anywhere Real Estate’s Tim Foley resigns
    (Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
    Rising mortgage rates lock out homebuyers, trigger layoffs
    Rising mortgage rates lock out homebuyers, trigger layoffs
    United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng
    Turmoil hits United Kingdom mortgage market
    Turmoil hits United Kingdom mortgage market
     Lakeland Bank president Thomas Shara (Lakeland Bank, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
    In redlining case, New Jersey lender to pay $12M
    In redlining case, New Jersey lender to pay $12M
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...