Could you do me a favor if you're able?

Real Estate Agent with Hollish Hill Group, JPAR Stellar Living

I've been preparing to teach a Fair Housing class and talking to fellow agents and many seem surprised that most of the Fair Housing complaints each year come from the same group. In fact, according to the National Fair Housing Alliance, 58.9% of the complaints alleging discrimination in 2019 were on the basis of disability.

So here's the favor I'm asking of you:

Image by <a href="">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>

Could you spend a few extra minutes when entering a listing into your MLS and be sure to list all of the accessibility features that apply to your listing?

Simple, right? You've probably heard the expression, junk in, junk out when it comes to databases. In the case of disability features, it's really more like nothing in, nothing out. 

I recently did a search for a client who is dependent on a wheel chair, and you'd be surprised by how few listings came up. And when they did, there were other listings in the same building that did not list the same  accessibility features. 

Thank you in advance,


Posted by


Dana Hollish Hill
REALTOR * Broker * Coach 
JPAR Stellar Living
800 S Frederick Ave, Suite 200, Gaithersburg, MD 20877
office 301.944.9070  
cell  202.271.5301

Comments (21)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Dana - even when completely spelled-out explanations/definitions are used, interpretation enters the picture.  Of course, laziness and all sorts of other issues enter as well.   Is it a case of "trust but verify" or something greater?  It's an age-old question but one worthy of discussion.  

Mar 02, 2021 09:12 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Dana... our mls actually provides an easy way to input all this data.

Mar 02, 2021 10:29 AM
Dana Hollish Hill

Sadly ours allows you to quickly check none. 

Apr 11, 2023 12:13 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Dana, Thanks for this reminder. Being a former RN, I am very aware of these missing inclusions. Thanks for teaching the class!

Mar 02, 2021 05:46 PM
Winston Rowe & Associates CRE Investing Financing
Winston Rowe & Associates - Saint Clair Shores, MI
No Upfront Fee Commercial Loans

Dana, Federal and State Fair Housing laws are vey complex. They cover income types, debt to income ratio's, age, type of employment, location of employment, race, martial status or lack of, internet gossip, some types of criminal convctions such as drugs, military status, application process, security deposits, application fees.

Great article, enjoyed reading it.

Mar 03, 2021 06:32 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Dana Hollish Hill - that is true.  The same is true with the employment complaints.  Important to list the accessability features.

Mar 06, 2021 04:00 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is a good reminder for listing agents to include those features in their descriptions.

Mar 06, 2021 05:20 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Well, I have to say, I haven't had any buyers yet who requested these features so didn't even know they were in our MLS. I just checked and they are indeed. Listing agents can check off various ADA options. When I get my first house listing, I will be sure to assess these features. Thank you!

Mar 06, 2021 05:28 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I our area there are seldom homes listed with handicap accessibility as a rule, however many can be converted simply enough.

Mar 06, 2021 06:27 AM
Dana Hollish Hill

Just having a level entry or an elevator can be accessibility features to someone who needs them. 

Apr 11, 2023 12:15 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Dana. Grat reminder not to leave out information that may help expedite a sale. Enjoy your day.

Mar 06, 2021 07:17 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

I'm with you. In my opinion, it's so lazy not to completely fill out our listing data. Yet, we see it all the time. 

Mar 06, 2021 07:25 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning and great point Dana Hollish Hill it helps the seller and the buyers both

Mar 06, 2021 08:36 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I do my best to put as much information as possible into the MLS, but so many agents take the zero on fields that aren't required.

Interestingly enough, I had a Fair Housing issue come up this year involving familial status and an HOA dictating who could and who could not rent a home and have access to amenities.  There's so much focus on racial inequality and FH that the HOA gal even said what she was enforcing was not a FH violation.  Very frustrating because any discrimination against the protected classes is just as much a FH violation.  

Mar 06, 2021 11:12 AM
Dana Hollish Hill

When I taught Fair Housing, most people guessed racial discrimination was the most frequent and were surprised that disability was so much more reported. 

the familial status case studies I used also surprised a lot of people. 

it's probably good that we all take refresher classes at each renewal cycle.

Mar 15, 2021 08:23 PM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Dana Hollish Hill - I make the effort to check every box that applies to a listing on our MLS. If something stands out over and above, I put it in the description.  

Mar 06, 2021 11:13 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Dana Hollish Hill  You would think that with such an important feature as wheelchair accessible  someone would list that in the MLS- So glad Carol Williams featured this post as I missed it 

Mar 06, 2021 01:07 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Dana Hollish Hill ,

Glad to see your post featured in Carol Williams Second Chance Saturday Series. Most important and glad to see you spreading the word here and in your classes.

Mar 06, 2021 03:55 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

the 'I'm not handicapped so I don't think about it' kind of stuff. I have been aware of this for years because my Dad had a hard time walking.

It's not only in the MLS that's for sure. When my Dad was in a wheelchair we would get pushed around in the hospital & I'm not large & would get stuck going over door thresholds trying to push him. No one around to help! It was truly amazing. Let's step in front of the wheelchair people.

Mar 08, 2021 12:51 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Dana. Great point and I will try to do better.

Mar 09, 2021 05:18 AM
Margaret Mitchell
Coldwell Banker Yorke Realty - York, ME
Seacoast Maine & NH Real Estate

Hi Dana, Thank you for pointing this out. In our area, we have a lot of older housing stock which is not very accessible. So it is easy to forget to include those features on the housing that is accessible.  Thank you for the reminder.

Mar 10, 2021 03:59 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Thank you for this timely reminder!!

Mar 11, 2021 11:14 AM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Having added 65 features to our MLS in the Phoenix metro area for energy efficiency and more, I totally get where you're coming from.  Features in an MLS are lifesavers when it comes to finding what you're looking for to aid clients.  We have a very good section for features to be listed re disabilities and physical challenges. 

Mar 12, 2021 08:02 AM