Sponsored: Seller’s agent tells couple it is in their ‘best interest’ to select buyer based on price, terms; is this accurate?

Q: Last night, our seller’s broker withheld the cover
letters from seven offer proposals on our listed home. He insisted
it was in our best interest to negotiate a sale based on price and
terms, not on who is making the offer. He had prepared a letter for
us as the sellers to sign digitally, rejecting cover letters
describing who they are and why they want to live in our home, aka
“love letters.” He said he would provide the withheld cover
letters if we insisted and provided we sign a waiver to hold him
and his realty brokerage harmless from litigation. We did not want
to pick a fight with our seller’s agent, so we signed the form
rejecting cover letters and stating that they were not read or
considered in any subsequent negotiation. It seems un-American that
deciding which buyers we want to live in the home where we raised
our children might be considered discrimination.

Our seller’s agent is in a protected class. Is he on
the level with us on legal issues or “putting his thumb on the

A: He provides the latest legal advice from the California
Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) real estate attorneys. His golden
thumb on that scale could save you hefty legal bills and an
out-of-court settlement. I am referring to one of the 22 protected
classes and characteristics in California that could file suit
after witnessing your sold house goes to a replica of your family
from 25 years ago. Over the decades, countless empty nesters or
grandparents have told me that they want a family to buy their
home. Due to that fact, it is not uncommon for sellers to sell
their homes to someone they like, and often for less money.

The new two-page C.A.R. form Fair Housing & Discrimination
Advisory (C.A.R. Form FHDA) lists federal and state laws that are
older than most of your prospective homebuyers: The 1968 Federal
Fair Housing Act, the 1959 California Fair Employment and Housing
Act, the 1959 California Unruh Civil Rights Act, the 1990 Americans
With Disabilities Act and the list goes on.

Also, on the top third of Page One is, “Potential Legal Remedy
For Unlawful Discrimination: Violations of fair housing laws may
result in civil monetary fines, injunctive relief, compensatory
and/or punitive damages, and attorney fees and costs.” A
mini-spreadsheet lists the 22 protected classes and
characteristics. The information that follows is a stunning
collection of best practices and legal landmines. The historical
enormity of where we’ve been serves as a reminder of long-lost
best practices. It reads: “Since both the 14th Amendment of the
U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits
discrimination based on race; the FHA and FEHA exemptions do not
extend to discrimination based on race.”

Questions? Realtor Pat Kapowich is a career-long consumer
protection advocate and Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager.
408-245-7700, Pat@SiliconValleyBroker.com
DRE# 00979413 SiliconValleyBroker.com�

Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Sponsored: Seller’s agent tells couple it is in their ‘best
interest’ to select buyer based on price, terms; is this