A love letter from the buyer of the home to the seller has become a more popular practice in our competitive Real Estate market. The buyer sweetens the offer to purchase a home by including a “love letter” to the seller expounding on the reasons why their home is in good loving hands with this buyer. Reasons such as “your home is perfect, and we will treat it with the same love you have over the years”.
The National Association of Realtors is warning agents that some information in these letters could be in violation of fair housing laws. A statement such as “I can see our children gathered around the Christmas tree in front of that beautiful fireplace on Christmas morning”. There are two possible violations here if the seller uses these reasons to sell to this buyer: First, the reference to children. Familial status is a protected class. Second the reference to a religious holiday. Religion is a protected class. If a single person who was not Christian wanted to buy the house and had a competitive offer, this could be a violation of fair housing laws.
There could be value in sending a letter to the seller to compliment them on the home but be careful! A seller should weigh the merits of an offer based on terms and conditions. Buyers should be wary of a seller who makes it clear that they are looking for a buyer who is “just like us, and will take care of the house just as we have”.