Love Letters No Longer a “Fair” Strategy for Buyers
In another sign of the times, Oregon has weighed in on a controversial topic, love letters, from prospective buyers to a seller of residential real estate. A “love letter” is typically sent by a buyer in the context of a strong seller’s market, when there are multiple buyers competing for the same property. The letter describes the reasons that the particular buyer is worthy, appealing, and should be selected by the seller. The rationale behind prohibiting “love letters” is that the information in them might be used by the seller to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or the like.
Oregon statute (HB 2550) prohibits realtors from the “love letters.” The statute provides, in part:
In order to help a seller avoid selecting a buyer based on the buyer’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or familial status as prohibited by the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), a seller’s agent shall reject any communication other than customary documents in a real estate transaction, including photographs, provided by a buyer.