A decade or two ago, it was a delight when a seller received a well-crafted letter from the buyers, professing their love for the house and citing interesting personal facts. These letters were relatively uncommon back then and were almost always a pleasant surprise. We say “almost” because we recall one letter a seller of ours received which was a lengthy list of the “perceived” problems with the house and a list of reasons why the buyer’s very low offer price was reasonable – definitely not a delight to read. In recent years, it has become common to see a personal letter from the buyers accompany an offer on a house. We would estimate that about 30% of offers include a letter. We’ve been told that our buyers beat out another offer because of a good letter. Awesome, you say, and yes, we totally agree! But some losing buyers and their attorneys do not. While it is illegal to discriminate against a buyer who is a member of a protected class, our question has always been how one knows that the sellers’ selection of a winning offer is in violation of the law? What if the seller chooses the winning buyers simply because they went to the same university together? Or what if the seller disqualifies a buyer because the buyer coincidentally bullied him in high school? It is understandable that buyers who have been illegally discriminated against would have merit in a lawsuit, but recent legal proceedings have led to the recommendation from our legal counsel that we no longer include pictures of our clients in our letters. Heck, many say, we should get rid of letters altogether. It has become less a matter of what is legal and more an issue of limiting liability and reducing legal entanglement. One industry attorney has recommended that sellers include a written statement stating that they will not review buyer’s letters at all. We in the industry tend to be “people persons” and we especially enjoy helping people find commonality and break down barriers during the often emotional home selling process. It seems now more than ever, agents will be called upon to increase their professionalism and their ability to serve as buffers between the parties involved in a sale, both to protect everyone’s interests and to reduce the liability that stems from an increasingly (both legitimately and over-sensitively) litigious society.