On January 1, 2022, Oregon became the first state to enact a ban on non-customary communications (aka Love Letters) and the real estate world gave a lot of pushback. Many felt this was equal parts a violation of free speech and discrimination in fair housing, which caused a heated divide in the industry.  

Fast forward to May 2022, where a federal judge has signed a consent decree, thereby allowing the practice of love letters to resume as it had been in Oregon. However, this entire back and forth has reignited the great debate between agents from all over the world.

Agent Reactions

The poll we conducted on BAM’s Instagram Story nearly split agents in half, with just a slight margin looking to ban love letters everywhere.

Those WHO ARE anti love letter

“Love letters should be banned”

@danoneil_

“Ban or not they’re still potentially in violation of fair housing act. I’m surprised about this ruling honestly, I was thinking that we were all going in the right direction by not using them anymore.”

@elenamanelli_realtor

Damn, I wanted those letters gone!”

@nicoleschlueter

Love letters are open invitations for FHA violations. We get it, you love the house, you can see your family running down the hall and drawing on the walls. Sorry. We can find a home to run and draw on without needing to submit love letters”

@dennisinatlanta

Those in favor

Absolutely NOT! The whole point was discrimination, right? Well, for me, I kept my maiden name as my middle name (Hernandez). When I bought my home last month, my full name was on that contract. Someone could have discriminated on me solely based on my ethnicity. Not a love letter. It was stupid ban and as an agent in Oregon, I’m stoked they’re allowing the letters back. I always made a good point to verbal the love letter to the LA prior to submitting the offer while this ban was in place. In turn they would relay it to the seller.”

@central_oregon_realtor

“Love letters are human expressions and humane. Restricting them is idiotic. Long live the love letter!!!💪🏽❤️💪🏽”

@natalie.k.gauvin

“Love (letters) will find a way”

@c21jared.thomas

“They are fair game! They work and if you feel they should be banned step your game up!”

@ezworld143

This opens up a much larger conversation into fair housing, discrimination and appropriate real estate tactics. Tom Toole recently reminded us on episode 4 of The Walk Thru that Realtors follow a very strong code of ethics and that we need to consider all the ways love letters might be graying this area.

Will Oregon end up with its tail between its legs and reinstate the ban?
What do you think?