Realtor getting sued over IDX feed. Are you next?
If the only thing that could be done to effect change is to have every IDX fed website where the offending language is found, be sued for Fair Housing Discrimination, including Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, etc., etc., then that is exactly what I would do! Find a lawyer willing to file this ginormous lawsuit and just NAME EVERYONE. Noone said you can't be Fair Housing Tester too! Just to prove a point and the total insanity of the whole thing, I think it would be worth it.
Yesterday I wrote a blog post about how I had to remove the IDX feed from my website. Today, I have an update in that Brian Stevens and Frank Garay at the National Real Estate Post featured my Federal Housing Lawsuit in their extremely popular video blog.
I feel that the information in the video and in my original post is very important for all real estate agents to know, as most agents are not aware that they can be sued for any listing that appears in an MLS IDX feed, whether that listing is yours or not. In my case I am being sued for another listing agents listing which has the language of "Adults Only, No Children Under 16 Allowed" in it.
I have contacted the local and state associations of Realtors with the primary answer from them being, that they are interested in being updated on the lawsuit, but that real estate agents are responsible for all listings on their website, including those on an IDX feed, and we are also responsible for all listings we email to buyers from the MLS. I am waiting for the NAR to contact me also, and I will give an update when I hear from them.
My goal is to make as many real estate agents as possible aware that they can easily be sued by the general public who decide to become Independent Fair Housing Testers, and how easy it is for them to file a lawsuit against any and all real estate agents.
Please understand my intention is not to get anyone, including the actual listing agent in trouble, and it certainly is not to say anything bad about my brokerage as they are great. I understand the company attorney feels that it is best for me to settle for $5,000 however, I am at this time unwilling to do so without a fight.
Without listings on my website, I am pretty much out of getting much business. Hopefully, I can get this resolved without any great expense, though it appears I will now have to pay an attorney to defend me in Federal Court. And of course will I be allowed to make a living or not. Time will tell.
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