Short Sales need more Ralph Waldo Emerson

Real Estate Agent with Texas Landmark Properties

Well sort of.  I don't subscribe to very much of his religious ideas.  I do love his writings.  Sometimes I put a quote in my signature by the great one.  Occasionally, I take a big risk and try to encourage one of my Short Sale clients with an Emerson or two.  Risky business in these times!

Now comes the most recent Texas Realtor magazine*, ala the newest issue with nine cases of True or False issues concerning the nuances of fair-housing.  Let's look at two of them today.

(1) True or false?  You can refuse to rent to an alcoholic.  Answer:  False.  Alcoholism is recognized as a disabililty and, therefore, protected by the handicap class of the Fair Housing Act.

Thats sounds fair to me.  I have known plenty of AA members or such like and I know that many times they make the best renters, despite the disability.  However, what is a Realtor to do if someone shows up to rent that is under the influence?  Can we give our own sobriety test on the spot?  I often ask myself...What would Ralph W. do?

(2) True or false?  Using a quotation from the Bible or Qumran as a part of your email signature could violate fair-housing laws.  Answer:  True. Religion is a protected class, and including such a quote in email messages gives the impression that you favor clients of one religion over another.

That sounds a bit ambiguous to me.  Again, I guess I wonder what Ralph W. would do?  Since there was no mention of Gandhi, I guess we might be okay if we tossed his name into the email sig to try and relieve Short Sale stress. In the world of unstable homeowners, (my world)  folks sometimes need a bit more than just the average, no opinion about anything Realtor.   Some distressed homeowners need a tad bit of counseling or a small smatter of friendship. ... maybe even a little tiny bit of intervention.  I shudder to think what would happen if a Realtor put something about meditation in his signature line.  All hell might break loose in fair housing.  So no more scripture in my sig line?  I guess I will have to pray about that.  At least at this point in society, I can still do that to myself and get away with it, and still think of myself as a fair Realtor.  

 *Texas Realtor, April 2010, p. 35


Gail Smith
Leesburg, FL

We can say just about anything we want - just don't let anyone know the source? Surely our society has not yet gotten to the point where if someone disagrees, then they are offensive...or offended, whichever side you take. Oy vay!

Apr 01, 2010 01:44 AM