One more step before controversial Oregon bill becomes law, banning ‘love letters’ during home sales

One more step before controversial Oregon bill becomes law, banning 'love letters' during home sales

Image: KPTV

BEYOND RIDICULOUS*!!!!  There is just one more step before a controversial bill, that could change the way many people buy homes, becomes law. If signed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, House Bill 2550 will ban the practice of ‘love letters’ during a home sale (emphasis added). The measure is to help avoid buyer selection based on race, sex, or religion in violation of federal fair housing laws.

Perhaps now more than ever in this housing boom, with major investment firms looking to buy up entire neighborhoods, buyers are looking to influence sellers any way they can. That influence usually comes in the form of a personalized letter, sometimes with family photos and desires to live in that community. What this bill would do is give seller’s agents the ability to reject those letters. While the bill has already passed the House and Senate, there are people who feel this is a major overreach by lawmakers.

Duke Hubbard told FOX 12 he bought the bigger home his family needed in Gresham in February.

“We explained that we were in the process of adopting two more kids. Brother and sister, one and three years old. Wanted to keep them together. And without knowing [the seller’s] position, they had just got through adopting their son’s kids. Their son had passed away in a car wreck. So, there was a little bit of…pulling on the heartstrings there, which we had no idea at the time that that had happened to them,” he said.

Hubbard said his bid came in at least $15,000 less than others. (Editor’s note: sellers have every right to sell their property at whatever price and to whomever they want, this is AMERICA).

While buyers will still be able to reach sellers directly, the measure still doesn’t sit well with buyers, especially first-time home buyers. FOX 12 also heard from a couple realtors who feel censoring letters is undue interference, adding there are already laws in place to make discrimination illegal.

But the bill’s chief sponsor who is a real estate agent himself, Rep. Mark Meek, D-Clackamas County, said it’s implicit bias that’s the issue.

“The only way that I saw, and a way that we can practically and very simply eliminate that practice, is just to not allow those letters. We’re not impinging on free speech, the buyer can still write the letter, but the seller’s agent is no longer required to pass that information along,” said Meek.

If the governor signs the bill into law, it will not take effect until January 1.

Posted on KPTV, Fox 12, June 15, 2021 by Brenna Kelly

*Editor’s note.

Date: 2021-06-16 08:16

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