Is This Discrimination, or a Disclosure Issue?

Reblogger Chris Webster
Services for Real Estate Pros with Island Palms Realty

Original content by Bill Travis

Is This Discrimination, or a Disclosure Issue?


Carol Culkin wrote a great post regarding Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act which prevents discrimination in the Sale, Rental and Financing of dwellings.

child jumping on bed

The situation Carol describes is this:

  • Carol has a lower floor condo listing

  • A buyers agent who had shown the condo, called and said his "Buyer would like to know who lives upstairs ie., single, couple, any kids?"

Carol believes, and other commenter's agreed, that it is familial discrimination if she answers.


  • Buyer may not wish to live below a unit housing family with kids; or below partying single adults
  • The discrimination laws are against refusing to rent or sell to someone based on any of the criteria, in this case the discussion is familial status.

  • The laws do not apply to Buyers who may not wish to buy into a specific unit for their personal reasons.

  • Normally the buyer is to do their own demographic research. However, this specific request for information from the seller as to who lives upstairs, it's reasonable for buyers agent to ask listing agent the question.

  • Listing agent either knows the answer, or can get it quickly from the seller.

  • Buyer was doing their due diligence prior to making offer. They wanted to know if there was a singe person in the upper unit; a couple; or people with kids.

  • This was a material fact the buyer required to help make a buying decision.

  • Listing agent has the duty to disclose any material fact that s/he is aware of. S/he does not have to do any research to find it, except in this case to ask the Seller.


Single adults partying

Code Of Ethics Article 10

Articles 10-1 and 10-2 indicate that a Realtor may provide demographic information if needed to assist with or complete a transaction so long as the information is obtained from a reliable source. (Paraphrased)


..."If the buyer asks you about an aspect of the property, you have a duty to disclose the information, regardless of whether or not you consider the information material..."

While familial status of an upstairs unit is certainly not a required initial disclosure of the seller, once it becomes a material fact and the buyer asks the question, then I believe agent and seller is required to disclose.

Therefore, I see this as a disclosure of material fact issue; not a discrimination issue.

My broker's opinion was the same as mine.

In an article published in the AZ Journal of Real Estate & Business, August 2010, attorney Calvin J. Platten writes:

..."my strongest piece of advice for any agent whether he or she is representing the buyer or the seller is to put yourself in the place of the buyer. If a piece of information in your possession regarding a property is something you would want to know if you were the one purchasing the property then you should disclose it"...

For information about homes for sale in Val Vista Lakes contact Captain Bill Travis.

View Community Videos by Captain Bill Travis





"Captain Bill Travis", ePRO, GRI, CDPE
Certified Distressed Property Expert
Val Vista Lakes and Gilbert AZ Blog Posts

 Short sale notice

If your home is in a Short Sale situation

Contact "Captain Bill Travis"

All content and photographs on this blog are Copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced in whole or part without the express written permission of the author.


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

Chris, thanks for reblogging my post. Since I didn't see your comment on my post I didn't know you had reblogged it.

Aug 23, 2010 11:11 AM #1
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Chris Webster

Ask me a question
Spam prevention