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The pros and cons of writing a home “love letter”

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Real Estate Transactions

If you’re looking to buy a home, you may find that the real estate market is very competitive. You may feel the need to give yourself an edge. Someone may suggest that you write a “love letter” about that new home and send it to the current owner.

Essentially, writing a home love letter means detailing why you hope they will pick you to purchase the property. For instance, in these letters, people frequently discuss how they want to raise their family in the home or how their parents used to live in a similar neighborhood. What you choose to bring up will be unique to your situation, but the hope is that you will sway the seller to choose you, even if your financial offer is the same as someone else’s.

Say that the seller gets two offers that are essentially the same, but one comes with a love letter about the home and the other does not. Odds are that the seller is going to go with the buyer who wrote that letter. They will feel a stronger connection to them.

Potential drawbacks

The primary downside of this practice is that this can sometimes serve as grounds for accusations of discrimination. After all, you’re going to put information in this love letter that the seller ordinarily would not know. This could include things like your race, your religion or your age. Technically, sellers are not supposed to discriminate in this way when deciding who can buy their home, so it could be problematic if it appears that they did so.

For instance, imagine that one potential buyer comes from a Christian religious background. The other potential buyer comes from a Muslim religious background. The seller would never know this if they didn’t have love letters from those individuals, but they do. If they then choose to sell the home to the buyer who shares their religious faith, is that an example of religious discrimination? Certainly, the other potential buyer could contend that it is.

As you can see, buying a house may be a bit more complicated than you assumed. You certainly don’t want to make any mistakes. Be sure you are well aware of all of your legal options, rights and responsibilities, even when it comes to a practice as seemingly innocuous as writing a home love letter.