Understanding Real Estate

Discrimination In The Real Estate Business: How To Deal With It When You Encounter It

It is rare for realtors and real estate agents to exhibit discriminatory behavior, but it does happen. As someone who wishes to buy a home or commercial building, you never want to be on the receiving end of that. Most agencies heavily screen their agents/realtors for such behaviors, and they do address it when it happens. If you feel that an agent or realtor has shown discrimination against you in any way, here is how to handle it.

Identify What Kind of Discrimination You Think the Agent/Realtor Exhibited

Every realtor should be a "gay-friendly realtor" or an "elderly-friendly real estate agent" since ALL agents and realtors are required to behave professionally and treat all consumers with dignity and respect. If and when an agent or realtor has failed to do so, consumers must identify what type of discrimination was exhibited by the agent/realtor. Do you feel targeted because you are too young, too old, LGBT, this or that religion, this or that ethnicity or skin color, etc.? Put a label on it, and document exactly what was said or the actions you perceived as discriminatory and unprofessional.

Speak to the Head Agent/Realtor in the Office

You have a right to report discrimination to the head agent and/or owner of the agency or realty group. Ask to meet with him/her privately. Tell him/her what happened to make you feel as though you were discriminated against.

Since such actions cost agencies a lot of money both in lost sales and lawsuits, you can bet that the owner/head agent/realtor is going to want to take punitive action with the offending employee. Then request a different realtor or agent to work with you. The owner/head agent will be more than happy to assist you.

Be Forgiving

One bad apple in a real estate agency does not represent the ideals, attitudes, or behaviors of the rest of the business. Give the business the benefit of the doubt and try working with a different agent or realtor. Do try to forgive the business for what happened since they did screen everyone but this one person got by them. If things go much better with a different agent/realtor moving forward, you can feel better about your actions. You can also feel good knowing that you did not have to sue the agency for discriminatory behavior, nor did you have to find a different agency or realty to work with.