Although housing discrimination is a real problem, Mr. Ortner said, “these letters convey precise and truthful information which is useful to the seller.”
The idea that they lead to discrimination “is speculation over speculation,” he added, noting that more often than not the letters could convince a seller to go for a slightly lower offer if it came from from a buyer “who will use and cherish a lodge.”
Cari Field, a real estate agent in Los Angeles, said she has had homes that have received as many as 60 bids, but the competition usually comes down to two or three of the highest bids – and that’s where love letters can tip the scales. What sellers often want to know, she said, is whether this “will become an Airbnb income building or party house.”
In one case, Ms Field said, she had a seller who had chosen a buyer whose letter stated how well equipped the house was for a person with a disability. (The buyer was using a wheelchair and the seller had modified the house to accommodate a disabled parent.) âI really didn’t make this work in favor of the underdog,â she said. “Is this such a bad thing?” “
Sarah DiLeo, 42, who works in digital media production, was renting in Brooklyn when she bought a house in the Berkshires in July 2020, as a rural getaway for his wife and 4-year-old twins during the height of the pandemic . It was like “the start of the gold rush,” Ms. DiLeo said, with city dwellers fleeing small apartments and competition for homes outside the city was stiff. So when they found a home they liked, they wrote the seller a letter, telling the house about the house’s elaborate native garden and how much she thought her children would appreciate. It turned out that the vendors had raised their own twins at home.
âIt was a funny coincidence and a bit of kismet,â Ms. DiLeo said. She has the house.
While she couldn’t be sure the letter sealed the deal, she said it was helpful in starting an ongoing relationship with the vendors, who were able to recommend a local babysitter and offer gardening advice. : âIt has been very positive and rewarding. “