Paying top dollar doesn’t seem to be enough anymore when it comes to buying a house. As many New Jersey residents now, buying and selling real estate involves a lot of emotion, so buyers have started to try to woo sellers with the industry is calling love letters. They’re usually used when the competition for a home is pretty grueling. Often people’s decisions to sell the place in which they’ve made many happy memories is bittersweet and some would-be purchasers are taking advantage of this.
NAR not in favor
The practice of writing these love letters is about to be banned. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) no longer supports the use of these love letters and believes it could infringe upon the Fair Housing Act. NAR cannot tell a buyer not to write such a letter, but a salesperson could refuse to present it to the seller. But some buyers understand the emotion that goes along with selling a home and they might like to appeal to the seller by telling them they would love the home like they did.
Is the practice racist or discriminatory?
These love letter actually can be construed to be racist or discriminatory. Real estate agents cannot answer questions about neighbors and what they’re like. It could be viewed as answering questions pertaining to the cultural or racial makeup of the area, which is irrelevant and in the past was a way of keeping minorities clear of certain areas. In one of these love letters, a potential buyer could write something giving the seller an indication of their religion or race which could cause bias in the seller. If the seller indicates the purchaser was selected based on the letter, the law was violated.
There are so many areas in real estate that are confusing. When in doubt about the law and real estate, it may be best to seek the advice of a New Jersey attorney experienced in real estate law. Doing something that could potentially backfire may not only result in a defunct deal, but could also mean a law was broken.