Don't Write a Letter to the Home Seller | Here's Why NOT

Writing a Heartfelt Letter to go Along With Your Offer to Buy a Home

In today’s low-inventory real estate market, buyers are competing and many are losing out.

One way buyers think they can have an advantage over other buyers is to include a sentimental letter to the sellers in hopes that they will consider their offer over others because of what nice people they are, what they do for a living, or family details. This is a terrible idea which could result in a $10,000 fine for a fair housing violation. It is the most serious real estate violation.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits, in part, discrimination based on familial status, disability, religion, race, or ethnicity. Some states add sexual orientation, age, source of income, and more to the list of fair housing violations. If you include a letter to the sellers stating that you can’t wait for the kids to play in the lovely, fenced back yard, and the seller takes your offer over another couple without kids, this could be a violation. Often buyers will include photos, and you can see where I'm going with that.

If your heartfelt letter gets you the winning offer on the house and you run into inspection issues, then what? How willing do you think the sellers will be to complete repairs when you said this was your “ultimate dream house” or something along those lines? You’ve given away your negotiating position.

Buying a home is a financial decision, and a big one. If feelings enter into it, someone is likely to get hurt somewhere in the process--and I don’t mean emotionally. It should be handled professionally, and these letters aren’t. Your offer needs to stand on its own merit and not be clouded by emotion.

© Deb Staley 2017-2022

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