A boutique real estate firm with offices in Bend and Portland filed a lawsuit challenging Oregon’s ban on “love letters” for prospective homebuyers.

Earlier this summer, Oregon became the first state to pass a law banning real estate brokers from transmitting non-financial communications between home buyers and sellers, fearing that so-called “love letters” might be used to discriminate in housing transactions–but without any evidence of such discrimination.

For Total Real Estate Group, the ban on love letters harms their ability to match potential homebuyers with their dream homes. The letters often prompt sales below the top monetary offer, creating opportunities for first-time homeowners and giving sellers peace of mind that their home ends up in caring hands.

“Love letters are incredibly important for matching buyers and sellers,” says Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Daniel Ortner. “Oregon cannot ban valuable speech because someone might use it to discriminate. Such a broad speech restriction is clearly not justified.”

Represented free of charge by Pacific Legal Foundation, Total Real Estate Group is asking a federal court to restore their right to freely facilitate communication between homebuyers and sellers.

The case is Total Real Estate Group v. Strode, filed in United States District Court for the District of Oregon.

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