Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-07-22 10:27:01 –
Cleveland — An era in which homebuyers write to sellers to influence decision-making Seems to be over..
Oregon has recently passed A new law in force in 2022 that prohibits buyers from sending letters to sellers as a way to influence their decisions.
The law is the latest change in the ever-changing real estate environment, where buyers are offering to abandon inspections, fill valuation gaps, and make invisible proposals.
Ohio realtor president Seth Task wants buyers to compliment sellers in a fenced yard for children to grow and a spacious living room for Christmas mornings, He explained that these comments could cause problems.
He says he no longer accepts “love letters” from buyers and encourages other realtors to do the same to avoid possible discrimination.
“If a decision is made based on a letter and other letters, it’s clearly a fair housing issue,” Task said.
Cleveland Scrips Station WEWS has spoken to several realtors in northeastern Ohio. They all explained that about a year ago, there were few, seeing about 25% of sellers’ agents no longer accepting love letters.
“We have been recommending letters for a really long time,” Task said. “You are trying to pull the heartstring to the seller. You are trying to build some relationship. This heartfelt letter may put you on top. Maybe the seller has your letter I like it so it’s $ 2,000 cheaper. “
Fair housing regulations at the federal, state and local levels now include race, color, religion, gender, family status, ancestors, country of origin, disability, military status, sexual orientation and gender identity. Discrimination of housing as a reason is prohibited.
“Writing a love letter, and not mentioning at least one of those protected classes, is incredibly difficult, if not impossible,” Task said.
Tanesha Hunter is Director of Education and Outreach at the Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research. She points out penalties such as tens of thousands of dollars fines for discriminating sellers.
She said agents could also lose their licenses because of a fair home breach.
“We believe there are more than 30,000 home discrimination cases in our area. [every year] “But don’t report,” she said. “Instead of writing these love letters and talking about personal belongings, talk about your enthusiasm for property features. You love the fireplace. You love the backyard. You love the kitchen.”
WEWS has contacted the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Real Estate and Licensing Department on this issue. A spokeswoman said they had never dealt with any particular case in which these types of letters were considered discriminatory, but that they were on their radar.
This story was originally published by Clay LePard at the Scripps Station WEWS In Cleveland.