This woman is seeking legal advice as her offer on a dream house was rejected. They had put in significantly more cash than the winning bid but the sellers preferred to pass their home onto a Christian family. Was this legal or ethical?
The Original Poster (OP) is a 28-year-old who lives with her 30-year-old boyfriend.
They have been looking for a house to buy since the beginning of the year.
Renting During Relocation
They relocated to Pennsylvania and have been renting an Airbnb until they find a perfect place to call home.
They Made an Offer on Dream Home
Recently, they made an offer on a house they loved.
It Was by Far the Best Offer
Their offer topped the highest bid by roughly $15,000. Even their realtor assured them that their offer was the finest choice the sellers could have made.
Cash Offer Beaten by Worse Bid!
OP made a cash offer, while the “winning” purchaser chose conventional mortgage financing with a $10,000 appraisal gap.
However, things didn’t go as expected.
The selling agent informed OP that the sellers had selected a different offer.
The Sellers Preferred the Other Buyers’ Lifestyle
As it turns out, the “winning” buyers had included a letter to the sellers mentioning that they have two sons, and the sellers loved them.
Christian Faith Tipped the Scale
OP’s realtor told her that there was a discussion of the “winning” buyers’ “strong Christian faith” in the letter and that it also seemed like that was part of the decision.
Meanwhile They Were Unmarried
Plus, OP’s realtor pointed out that as OP and her BF weren’t married, it may have played a part in the situation.
OP says she doesn’t yet have the specifics of what was agreed upon in writing between the realtors, but she does know some part of it.
Marital Status Discrimination?
OP believes they may have a case for family, if not marital status, discrimination at the very least.
Since they never talked to anyone about their faith, religion would likely be far-fetched.
Ethical Complaint Filed!
Now OP’s realtor said that she was filing an ethical complaint against the selling agent and that offer letters allow grounds for discrimination.
The FHA Does Not Enumerate Marital or Familial Status
OP took to Reddit to ask for legal advice and if any other persons have been in this situation before.
Several Redditors commented and shared their thoughts.
One Reddit user wrote, “The Fair Housing Act prohibits refusal to sell based on race, religion, gender, color, or national origin. The FHA does not enumerate marital or familial status. Some states and localities further protect classes, but you don’t list your location.
It should be noted that having a selection bias in favor of a separate party because they potentially share a religion does not mean that the seller refused to sell you based upon religious discrimination.”
Nothing Illegal Happened, Get Over It!
Another Redditor questioned OP and asked, “Writing letters to buy a house isn’t illegal. It’s what a lot of people do nowadays since it’s such a tough market. How do you know everything was the same in your “winning offer”?”
As a reply, OP wrote, “The selling agent told our realtor the terms of the other offer. We were cash.
They were traditional financing. Our offer was clearly the best, and the selling agent acknowledged that, possibly in writing.”
Seems Like a Legit’ Claim
A third Reddit user commented, “I wouldn’t say it’s far-fetched. If you’re not Christian, and the seller passed you over in favor of a Christian buyer because that buyer mentioned “strong Christian faith” in a letter, you may have been the victim of religious discrimination.”
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The post Unmarried Couple Shunned by Realtor Who Favored “Strong Christian Faith” Buyer first appeared on Wealthy Living.
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