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Councilmember Allan Domb introduced the bill that turned into the Do Not Solicit Registry. Photo: Jared Piper/PHL Council.
Councilmember Allan Domb introduced the bill that turned into the Do Not Solicit Registry. Photo: Jared Piper/PHL Council.

Annoyed by people trying to buy your house? Join this new Philly registry

The Do Not Solicit registry protects homeowners from predatory real estate brokers and wholesalers.

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Philadelphia homeowners can now sleep more peacefully at night knowing that they are protected from unsolicited offers from real estate brokers or wholesalers.

The city has launched a Do Not Solicit registry, which is run by the Commission of Human Relations — the City’s official civil rights agency — and is based on a law enacted in December 2020 that protects homeowners from wholesalers that use predatory tactics.

By alluring homeowners with “cash for home” incentives, wholesalers were able to make offers on houses without providing clients with accurate information on their home’s market value.

The law that created the new registry also changed this. Wholesalers are now required to offer homeowners a document that explains how to access resources detailing the fair market value of their homes. They now have to provide homeowners with 72 hours of notice before making an offer or request on properties. 

"Communities where homeowners are facing displacement from the rippling effects of redlining, deferred maintenance on an aging housing stock, and gentrification already need relief," Tonnetta Graham, president of the Strawberry Mansion CDC, said in October 2020

The types of solicitation that Philly residents can now be shielded from include: in-person contact, phone calls, mail, emails or text messages, and other written forms of communication such as flyers placed on doorsteps or vehicles.

By registering on the list, homeowners can opt out from receiving any direct officers to purchase their residential property as well as ads for “just listed” or sold houses in a neighborhood.

The new measure is specifically directed against brokers who use forceful tactics and pressure homeowners to sell their homes or properties, often at prices much lower than the actual market value. 

The registry targets “wholesale” buyers who promote “cash for homes,” or use aggressive strategies, offering to buy a home “as is.” 

Councilmember Allan Domb, who sponsored the bill to create the registry, said it is intended to protect owners of older homes in quickly developing areas. 

“We heard of too many stories where people would sell a home for $30,000 or $40,000 and two or three months later, it would be sold with very little work done for $90,000 or $100,000. And that’s not really fair to property owners,” Domb told KYW News. 

Domb made sure to mention that being on the Do Not Solicit registry will not prevent residents from selling their home or listing it with anyone, but it will prevent wholesalers or anyone else from contacting them. 

Residents can sign up for the registry here

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This article is part of Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project among more than 20 news organizations focused on economic mobility in Philadelphia. Read all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org.
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