We are now in a hot market with low inventory and bidding wars have become common. While offering more money, waiving the ability to negotiate over flaws found during a home inspection and being flexible with the closing date, buyer love letters is more and more a tactic used by some buyers in an attempt to stand out to a seller. These letters actually raise fair housing concerns, and could open real estate professionals and their clients to fair housing violations.
Consider where a potential buyer writes to the seller how excited they are at the thought of placing the Christmas Tree in that nice corner facing the fireplace and taking Christmas cards pictures with their newborn child. This statement reveals the potential buyer’s religion, something that is a protected characteristic under fair housing laws. Using protected characteristics as a basis to accept or reject an offer, as opposed to price and terms, would violate the Fair Housing Act.
Before the next time you are faced with a buyer love letter, click here to read the best practices to protect yourselves and your clients from fair housing liability.