BrokerageRegulations

Why buyer letters are risky business

In some cases, you may be looking at a $10K fair housing fine

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

By CHRISTINE SMITH As an exclusive buyer agent, homebuyers ask me all the time about buyer letters. You know the letters I mean: the ones where the buyers write about how much they love the house and why they or their family or their kids will love living there and why the sellers should pick their offer. The question usually comes to me as, "My friend told me I should write a letter ... she said it worked for her" or "I read online that I should write a letter when I submit an offer ... what do you think?" I'm really not a huge fan of the letters to start. Let's just present a strong offer and leave the negotiating to me. I know sellers sometimes like to know who will be buying their beloved home. But, they shouldn't. First of all, it's none of their business. Buyers do not need to know about the people selling the house. Sellers should expect the same. However, more importantly, that letter could be a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act pr...