Oregon 1st to ban homebuyer love letters


A home for sale in Northeast Portland’s Sabin neighborhood.

Katelyn Black / OPB

The practice of prospective homebuyers writing a letter to the owners of the house they’d like to buy is a longstanding one. And in a hot real estate market it can be the deciding factor when a seller has multiple offers. But Oregon State Rep. Mark Meek (D, Clackamas County), who is also a real estate agent, began to reconsider the practice as he became more involved in work to combat housing discrimination. The details in those letters often contain information including race, religion, sexual orientation and other personal information that could contribute to a buyer facing discrimination. The law prohibits a seller’s agent from accepting such letters. Mark Meek joins us to share more about his 25 years as a real estate agent and why he championed the bill.

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