Would You Sell Your Home to This Buyer? [Insert Photo Here]

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.]

Prospective home buyers seeking to tip the scales in multiple offers — and occasionally, buyers not in multiple offers — will often include a letter to the home owner along with their offer.

The typical format: a couple of sentences of biographical info, seamlessly segueing to all the reasons the Buyer loves the Seller’s home — and will be a good steward in the years to come.

Cementing the pitch: a picture of the beaming, impossibly photogenic family.

Fodder for Discrimination

However, at least a few Realtor colleagues apparently skip that last step.

Their concern?

That the family photo will provide fuel for a later discrimination charge — presumably, brought by an unsuccessful bidder — that the Seller either discriminated in favor of a preferred race or ethnic group, or rejected a disfavored one.

Hmmm . . . I can see their point (and the attendant risk).

P.S.: Of course, in an age of ubiquitous social media, motivated Sellers can easily find pictures of prospective Buyers even when they don’t accompany the offer.

See also, “Buyer’s Letters: Pro’s (Prose?) and Con’s”; and “Checking Out Buyers, Sellers and — Yes— Their Agents.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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