Is your Listing Offensive? Are these Words Things of the Past?

Real Estate Agent with John R. Wood, REALTORS


Have you ever wondered who writes the vivid advertising descriptions of the homes listed for sale in your area?   It could be the home owner, but more than likely it is the trusted Realtor. 


Your Realtor is your marketing expert and as such, is required to write catchy phrases that describe your property to help sell it fast.  But in these politically correct days, are there things that a Realtor should not say? 


Real estate ads are getting a big dose of political correctness, as real estate professionals carefully watch their words in listings to avoid offending anyone.  Have you ever read something and been offended, but not sure why?


Here are a few examples of descriptive words that might be considered dated or in bad taste:

The term “master bedroom” is cited for having racist undertones; this term is being replaced with “owner’s suite.”


The term “his and hers” is considered gender specific. 


And “bachelor pad” could be considered discriminatory.


Other potentially offensive words include “family home,” “handyman’s dream,” and “walking distance to.” (After all, one person’s idea of what is nearby may not be someone else’s, and “walking distance” may be prejudicial against someone in a wheelchair, agents note.)


By carefully choosing our words good agents can avoid potential conflicts with the Fair Housing Act.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has never issued an official list of terms to avoid, but some MLSs have.  Lesley Walker, associate counsel at the National Association of Realtors®, says, “Our culture and society are now more in tune with the sensitivities of more groups of people.  I think we’re more aware and educated, and so [we are] taking more precautions not to inadvertently or expressly discriminate against a specific class of people.”


So I ask, should these words be things of the past?  Let me know what you think!  Call me, Frank Petras, at (239) 595-2221 or visit 


As a REALTOR in Naples, Florida with a very impressive international client list, I am known for my incomparable market knowledge, exceptional customer service, superior negotiating skills, high-end global targeted marketing and tremendous results. I have an unrivaled reputation as a luxury property specialist. I have earned local and national recognition for marketing and selling multimillion dollar luxury waterfront and golf course estates and other fine properties in Naples, Bonita Springs, Estero and the surrounding areas.   


Voted Best Real Estate Agent in Client Satisfaction in Southwest Florida - Gulfshore Life Magazine


John R. Woods' Emerald and Platinum Circles of Excellence


Realty Alliance Leading Residential Real Estate Sales Professional in North America


Appointed to Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate


Awarded Million Dollar Guild Recognition by The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing


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