a tale of two...

By
Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential

It was the best of listings, it was the worst of listings...

it was the age of continuing education, it was the age of testers,

it was the epoch of lawsuits.

 

Mrs. Seller:  I like everything about your presentation.  I like your aggressive marketing plan, I like the printed materials you're proposing and love your massive internet presence.  What did you call that? .. Active Brain??, very cool.

I'd like to hire you to represent my prestigious lake-front property.

Realtor: That's terrific, thank you so much for your vote of confidence, I won't let you down.

Mrs. Seller: There's one additional thing that you should know, in taking on our property.

Realtor: Of course, Mrs. Seller, what would you like to share with me, that would help in selling your beautiful home?

Mrs. Seller: Well, as you know, I have lived in this neighbourhood for over 30 years, I raised my family here, and I still have good friends who live here.

Realtor: Yes, you mentioned that before, it's a beautiful setting.

Mrs. Seller: We value our neighbours, and we don't want to do anything to damage this wonderful community, so we've agreed... we won't sell to any [insert your choice of politely spoken ethnic slur, here].

- crickets -

 

OUR INTREPID REALTOR'S OPTIONS:

a) I totally understand, Mrs. Seller... we surely don't want to see any [slur] ruining the property values here.  We'll make sure we don't sell to any of them. I cain't stan'em either.

b) Mrs. Seller, as I'm sure you know, as a Realtor, I cannot support that goal... let's just pretend you never said that, okay?

c) Mrs. Seller, as much as I'd love to represent your property, I have to turn it down.  I cannot represent a seller who has told me that she's prepared to discriminate against any ethnicity. You'll have to hire a different Realtor.

d) Mrs. Seller, we just want to sell your property.  Once you're out of the neighbourhood, you don't owe those you leave behind any allegiance.  But I'll remember what you've said, and let's keep that between ourselves, okay?


This is a real situation (although changed dramatically to protect the guilty) that occured recently in our area.  What would you do?  What WOULD you do?

Posted by

 ALAN MAY, Realtor®   
Specializing in Evanston Real Estate and North Shore Real Estate

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, 1710 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201
847.425.3779      Cell: 847.924.3313      Email: Almay@aol.com

Evanston Real Estate & North Shore Real Estate
Licensed in Illinois

   

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Jeff Dowler, CRS 08/18/2010 04:48 PM
  2. Jim Frimmer 08/19/2010 12:33 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
"Whacked"!!!
Addicted to Active Rain
Midwest Rainers
Team RERockstar
Bartender, Make it a Double
Tags:
discrimination

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Ambassador
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Bill - I happen to agree with you... but the "suits" and my managing broker don't.  And in the end, I either work under their auspices, or I don't.  And I surely don't want to undermine my errors & omissions insurance... my pockets aren't deep enough...

Margaret - yes, they'd have to sign that... but if we ended up in court... guess whose pockets they'd come after... CB has the deeper pockets, and I'd be named a co-conspirator.

 

Aug 19, 2010 10:01 AM #58
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I'll take C for no commission and a great story to prove I stand behind the Code of Ethics. 

Aug 19, 2010 12:02 PM #59
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group, Bartender, Make it a Double.

Aug 19, 2010 12:03 PM #60
Rainmaker
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DEBORAH STONE
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


Alan-


By the looks of the comments I know you have hit a nerve. I had the experience of meeting a guy at a party I was invited to--in my neighborhood---a very liberal group, many Realtors, with forward ideas (or so I thought). The man, let's call him Bud, didn't understand why Realtors didn't just take -BLANK- clients to -BLANK- neighborhoods. He felt that the --BLANK-- clients would obviously feel more comfortable living with "their own" and Realtors could save alot of time and money by limiting their options and focusing on the best areas for them.I was sitting on a bar stool and nearly fell off...he was serious. As I started to explain steering and discrimination and Fair Housing Laws I realized this man was clueless. I tried to appeal to his sense of fairness and doing the right thing, all to no avail. I ended up in a loud argument with him and I felt bad I got so distressed.
But I do believe that with some folks discrimination is so ingrained they do not even realize how wrong it is.

Aug 19, 2010 01:20 PM #61
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Chris - the code of ethics is there for a reason... and it's NOT to make things difficult for Realtors.  Oh, and thanks for the feature.

Deborah - I think you're right... with some folks, they don't view it as discrimination, it's just "common sense".

Aug 19, 2010 01:36 PM #62
Rainmaker
1,317,476
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I've had this happen on the other side of the coin where buyers don't want to buy a house because a "cricket" lived in the house!

Aug 19, 2010 05:50 PM #63
Rainer
258,100
Charles Edwards Bentonville
Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette 479-253-3796 - Bentonville, AR
AR REALTOR, Bentonville Real Estate Agent and Broker

In this day and time? I thought Archie Bunker was 40 years ago. Just walk away of course.

Aug 20, 2010 12:31 AM #64
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Joan - but crickets are supposed to represent luck, when found in a home.

Charles - Archie would be a lightweight today.

Aug 20, 2010 01:51 AM #65
Rainmaker
704,418
Erika Rogers
Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage - Saint George, UT
St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist

How about cock roaches?  I've had buyers walk away because of cock roaches, LOL. Sadly, this happens in our area too, of course, walk away!

btw-thanks for the advice on one of my posts, I took it!

Aug 20, 2010 03:27 AM #66
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Erika - I'm not sure cockroaches come into play in this scenario... but sure... I have seen buyers exit (and exit quickly) due to la cucarracha!

(re: the advice.... glad to hear it... it was just askin' for trouble).

Aug 20, 2010 03:51 AM #67
Rainmaker
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Jenna Dixon
DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate - Marietta, GA
Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience

I would hire some big, scary {inset desired slur here} to go over and kick the CRAP out of them.

Is that politically correct?

Aug 20, 2010 04:20 AM #68
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
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Jenna - uh... yeah, sure. 

Aug 20, 2010 07:40 AM #69
Rainmaker
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Ken Barker Realtor® GRI, E-Pro Certified
Dilbeck Real Estate - Burbank, CA

Alan - Getting to your post a little late. I did not know it turned into an Alan May feature.

I would do as Missy did, pick up my purse and leave. Sorry had to throw that in.

I have had people like that and I will not support their wishes. I explain the ethics and if they insist and cannot understand, I thank them for the opportunity.

Aug 20, 2010 11:48 AM #70
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Ken - nice purse!

Aug 20, 2010 03:47 PM #71
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Coral Gundlach
Compass - Arlington, VA
Real Lives. Not Just Real Estate.

I would probably not believe my ears and tell them so.    Say, "you are kidding right?"  Then go into a lecture about our fair housing obligations, point out that language in the listing agreement and say if you really feel that way you will have to find another agent.    Hoping for some backpedalling here...which would not happen I know.

My reason to ask them if they are kidding is to give them the benefit of the doubt, and also because I am a naive idealist who has trouble understanding the existence of racism after all we have been through in this country to progress past it.     

Ew.  Just Ew.  Sorry you had to be in such an awful position.

 

Aug 21, 2010 12:35 PM #72
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Coral - according to our 'suits', and my managing broker... backpeddling isn't enough... even if they say "oh, we were just joking"... for legal safety... (something the suits are very concerned about).. your best bet is to walk away from the listing.

It's akin to yelling "Hi Jack" on a plane... not too funny.

Aug 21, 2010 03:07 PM #73
Rainmaker
194,975
Sacramento Grapevine
SacramentoGrapevine - Roseville, CA

Run like hell

Aug 22, 2010 09:56 AM #74
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Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

Sindee - just like H-E-double hockey sticks...

Aug 22, 2010 10:13 AM #75
Rainmaker
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Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I had this happen to me about three months ago.  I told the neighbor (yes, it was a neighbor who came over from across the street) and she wanted "real Americans"!  I told her her best interest for her neighborhood would be to sell to somebody who would actually make the mortgage payments and not go into foreclosure.

Oct 17, 2010 04:06 AM #76
Rainmaker
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Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

I hate to say it but realistically Donald's comment is probably the most accurate.  Someone who would mention that at that point in the listing presentation already knows it's not ok or they wouldn't mention it just prior to the signing.  SO walk away.  It's not worth it.

Jan 08, 2011 08:27 PM #77
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