Real estate platforms lose noose on Texas ranch listing

Zillow, Redfin and the San Antonio Board of Realtors relist $3.9 million ranch after removing image of a noose hanging from a tree

21155 Interstate 37 (Google Maps)
21155 Interstate 37 (Google Maps)

Proper staging is vital to selling any property, but the listing for a $3.9 million ranch outside San Antonio featured something not typically considered a selling point: a noose.

When Guy Williams, a man from the neighboring suburb of Pleasanton peaked at the listing, he and his wife were shocked to find a photo of a noose hanging from a tree in front of a replica of an 1800s jailhouse.

“We were just in awe. We were like, ‘I cannot believe they published this,'” Williams told MySA. “They’re going to show this property with the noose hanging from the tree?”

The 137-acre “We 2 Ranch” near the town of Elmendorf is what San Antonio CultureMap calls, “a vintage treasure, drenched in its original-condition ’70s kitsch.” Like many Texas ranches, the property pays homage to the old west with a cowboy saloon, chapel, a horse racetrack, a replica 1930s filling station and a game room in the main house with a shrine to Dolly Parton.

Lonnie L. Haller was listed as the owner of the property in 2021, per Bexar County Appraisal District documents. The names “Lonnie – Karen Haller” are also on the horseshoe above the gate.

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Zillow removed the listing within an hour of MySA reaching out for comment, the publication said.

“We immediately contacted the local MLS and removed the content from our site,” a Zillow spokesperson says. “Zillow expects that content published on our platform adheres to fair housing laws and our Good Neighbor Policy,” which prohibits “discriminatory, abusive, obscene, threatening, or libelous content” on the platform.

That afternoon, Redfin followed suit, issuing the statement: “Redfin does not tolerate hateful imagery on our site. We reached out to SABOR to alert them of the offensive image, and it has since been removed from the MLS and from Redfin.com.”

Ellen Hagan with Redbird Realty is named as the property’s listing agent on SABOR, which was cited as the source of Zillow’s listing.

According to an email from a SABOR representative to MySA, the agency had not been aware of the image and it does not vet the photos of its listings, which are uploaded by the listing agents of properties.

SABOR has since removed the image from the listing, while Redfin and Zillow have relisted the property without the photo.

[MySA] — Maddy Sperling