By Katie Pocras, Nebraska Home Sales Realtor
I was out showing homes last weekend. Mr. Buyer, let’s call him “Joe”, is looking for a home for his son and his children. And Joe wants to find a house with neighborhood kids. Soon, we’re in a house’s backyard, and Joe is counting the play sets in the neighbors’ yards. Joe says, “ Isn’t there a website you can go to for this information?” I said, “There probably is but I’m not going to look.” I told him he could look. Joe asked me why I wouldn’t look and give him the information. I said because children are a protected class under Fair Housing. He smiled and said “Years ago I worked on legislation for non-housing discrimination. I’m glad you’re not giving me the answers!”
Fair Housing laws protect people by race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability/handicap, and familial status. Other states and cities go further and include sexual orientation. Everyone deserves the right to live where they want. And my job is to help people find the house they want, without exception. Simply, it’s the right thing to do. Always.
I’m happy to say I’ve never worked with a seller who discriminated. But if I did, I would cancel our listing contract and have no further dealings with the seller. Simply, non-discrimination is the right thing to do. Always.
The most common question I get from buyers is kids. Do kids live in the neighborhood? I can’t answer that. The second most common question is crime in the neighborhood. I can’t answer that either.
The third most common question I get is schools. Is this a good school? While these questions sound innocuous enough, they may pose a deeper, discriminatory potential.
Mr. Buyer, I will find every house in the area you pick, for the price you want, and the home attributes you select. That’s fair.