Brokers cautious when crafting listings

TRD New York /
Mar.March 29, 2011 12:21 PM
From left: Barbara Fox, David Schlamm

Real estate brokers are becoming increasingly cautious with their listing descriptions to comply with federal, state and city fair housing laws, the New York Times reported. There is no official Department of Housing and Urban Development list of acceptable and unacceptable terms, and at one time that encouraged so much caution that the agency actually sent a list of phrases that were acceptable, including “bachelor apartment.” But as social sensitivities heighten, some brokers, including David Schlamm, president of City Connections, are wary of the phrases “bachelor pad,” “fisherman’s retreat” and “traditional neighborhood.” Barbara Fox of Fox Residential Group even refers to “family” — as in, a house is “perfect for families” — as the “f” word. Actually, these precautions have been on the minds of real estate professionals for some time. Last year REBNY warned local brokers to avoid characterizing the neighborhood’s schools in listings to avoid any perception of racial steering, and two years ago the Corcoran Group put together a list of 200 phrases that its brokers couldn’t use in ads. [NYT]

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