Any broker worth a lick knows what they can and can't say in real estate listings in a post-Fair Housing Act world, even if adding something like "family-friendly" or "no poors allowed" doesn't seem to be discriminatory on the surface. (That second one always trips us up!) If they don't, their employers warn them, usually through a widely distributed list of no-nos. This week's NYT Appraisals column mines those lists for some of the strangest terms that have been added over the years. Banned descriptions include "traditional neighborhood," "executive building," "empty nesters," "Mormon Temple," "employed," "sophisticated" and, here's a real head scratcher, "fisherman's retreat." As if a woman could ever know how to cast a reel properly!
On the City Room blog, Appraisal columnist Christine Haughney has invited commenters to repeat the most inappropriate thing a broker ever said to them, which sounds like the worst idea in Internet commenting history. But things have been tame so far ("In Westchester listings, 'Walk to worship' is an actively used code word for 'near Orthodox synagogues'"), so rest easy, Al Sharpton.
· To Fight Discrimination, a Long List of No-Nos [NYT]
· Did You Say What I Thought You Said? [City Room]