There is a great amount of stress involved in selling a home, as a realtor or the seller. The last thing anyone wants to be accused of in the middle of it is real estate discrimination. Yet, in Louisiana and elsewhere, it happens, and the consequences can be significant.
What is real estate discrimination?
The Fair Housing Act has set ethical standards by which realtors and home sellers must abide. They cannot market in a discriminatory way by including certain phrases in the listing or participate in other discriminatory practices. Such as refusing to sell to a buyer based on his or her age, gender, race, disability or familial status — among other things.
Realtors especially cannot assume buyers will only want to see homes in neighborhoods that are near certain religious institutions or are predominately made up of a particular ethnic group. They honestly cannot assume anything about the buyer. They also cannot answer buyer questions about a neighborhood’s ethnic makeup or anything else that may be discriminatory in nature.
What to do if accused of real estate discrimination?
Being accused of real estate discrimination is not a small thing. For realtors, it could mean the loss of their professional licenses if there is any truth to the accusations. For home sellers, it could mean a lawsuit. The financial losses can be great if one loses a case. Thankfully, Louisiana residents accused of real estate discrimination do have the right to defend themselves. Legal counsel can help them resolve the matter as quickly as possible and with the best outcome possible.