Oregon’s government requires seller’s agents to reject any buyer love letters and photos starting in 2022.

However, Oregon buyers in 2022 intent on sending love letters to sellers could still send communications directly to the sellers and bypass the seller’s agent.


In order to help a seller avoid selecting a buyer based on the buyer’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or familial status as prohibited by the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3601 et seq.), a seller’s agent shall reject any communication other than customary documents in a real estate transaction, including photographs, provided by a buyer.

In late 2021, plaintiffs have sued the Oregon government, arguing that Oregon’s government violated the first amendment with a ban on buyer love letters.

In South Carolina, the government has not banned buyer love letters/photos. So, there is not a first amendment issue. The Constitution limits government.

In South Carolina and across the USA, there is a forecast of fair housing risks for the seller’s agent and seller with certain buyer love letters/photos.

Buyer love letters/photos/videos that reveal protected classes (race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation) can create situations where sellers and the agents are accused of illegally discriminating against buyers based on fair housing protected classes.

Buyer love letters that focus on their offer’s business terms and terms that do not reveal fair protected classes do not have such fair housing risks (e.g., I’ve already sold my other home, I have cash, I can close quickly, I will buy AS IS, Your home is my dream home, Look at how strong my lender’s pre-approval documents are with their comments on the underwriting already performed, my lawyer has drafted an escalation clause that will "outbid" all other offers up to a cap of $557,001, the backyard is great for my golden retriever dog).

Some buyer agents believe that love letters work and have seen them work (e.g., tug on the seller’s heartstrings).

Some seller’s agents believe they have a legal and ethical duty to look after the seller’s best interests and have concerns about love letters that lead to sellers selling to a love letter buyer at lesser business terms than offered by competing multiple offer buyers and possibly shouldering fair housing liabilities.

In multiple offers, there are multiple buyers rejected. Rejected buyers are not happy. Since everyone fits into one or more fair housing protected classes, selling to a fair housing love letter/photo buyer could allow a rejected buyer’s aggressive attorney to sue and file fair housing discrimination and file ethics and file license law and post bad reviews of the seller’s agent and seller.

Posted by: Byron King on 11/30/21 (This information is only accurate as of 11/30/21. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 11/30/21 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at screaltors.org or email byron at screaltors.org)

This information is not legal advice. This information is intended only to provide general information and may not be relied upon as specific legal guidance. Legal counsel should always be consulted before acting in reliance on this information.