Real estate strategy that should be banned in New Jersey (Oregon just did)

This is something I think should be banned in NJ as well.

Jessica Guynn, USA TODAYFri, August 20, 2021, 6:06 AM

DJ and Lauren Bowser had been hunting for a home in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles for months when they bid on a 1920s Spanish bungalow.

They offered nearly $200,000 over the asking price of $1.29 million with friendly terms.

To sweeten the deal, their agent advised them to enclose a heartfelt letter and family snapshots, too. They felt awkward about it – “you have a sense of being judged” – so they mostly wrote about how much Bear, their 11-pound, 5-year-old Chihuahua terrier mix, would enjoy running around in the grassy backyard after living in an apartment her whole life.

They beat out multiple offers, including one that was higher than theirs.

“We were told Bear won us the house,” DJ Bowser said.

In hot markets where multiple bidders are jockeying for the same house, homebuyers will do just about anything to get their offer noticed – and that includes writing “love letters” in hopes of making a personal connection with a seller.

These ardent pitches often rave about a home’s natural light or historic character. They also contain deeply personal details about people’s lives along with photographs, even videos.

Increasingly, though, real estate agents are refusing to accept or deliver these love letters as concerns grow that they violate fair housing laws.

Oregon is the first state to ban the practice. Starting in January, a real estate agent must reject any communication that would reveal the buyer's race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or familial status, according to the new law.

“We are not impeding on their freedom of speech or written communication. We are limiting transmission of communications that are not relevant and could potentially be breaking fair housing laws,”emocratic Rep. Mark Meek" data-rapid_p="9" data-v9y="1"> Democratic Rep. Mark Meek, the Oregon lawmaker who sponsored the legislation, told USA TODAY.

Hmmm, it reminds me of blind auditions for an orchestra. The person playing whatever it is they're doing for the audition. They come on and take their place behind a curtain, the piece is declared and they are announced without name. And they get to it. I'm totally for it.

It also reminds me of this comedian who wrote about naming his male child Austin suggesting that it would not elicit damning bias against him.

I also think the state should have a law against sellers manipulating the bidding process.  When they ask for best/final offer be it should be a contractual process requiring them to take one of the final offers they receive, or refuse all of the bids, and wait some pre-determined time (say 30 days) before re-listing.  This would force sellers to list their homes with a realistic selling price.

When we bought our home, I found that to be the sleaziest part of the process.  The homeowner would ask for a final offer, we'd give ours and they'd come back asking us if we wanted to top their highest bidder.  I always refused to be someone's stalking horse to bid the buyer's price up even higher.  My question was always "what part of 'best and last' don't you understand?"  How many major purchases aside from buying a home involve this kind of process?

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